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Commissioning Local Authority Public Health Services

Since the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, the responsibility for commissioning public health services transferred from the NHS to local authorities.

As a result of these changes, local authority public health teams require access to certain types of healthcare data about patients in their area. This enables them to plan many services ranging from cancer screening programmes to helping them understand local demographic statistics.

The Data Services for Commissioners (DSfC) team has been working closely with local authority public health teams to help support their commissioning information requirements.

On this page, we have brought together some of the key information local authority public health teams may find useful.

Public health access to data - advisory note

This advisory note provides guidance on the legal basis for access to patient information and includes some useful frequently asked questions (FAQs). Public Health England (PHE) is working on guidance for the use of regulation 3 to provide a legal basis for the use of personal confidential data (PCD).

FAQs on handling personal confidential data

These FAQs provide information for health and social care organisations on the current position to the legal access to PCD. These pages will be updated as the position changes. The FAQs include a specific section for local authorities.

HSCIC data sources

The data sources below may be useful to some local authority public health teams.

Primary Care Mortality Database

Cervical Screening Programme

Breast Screening Programme

Immunisation statistics

Indicator Portal

The HSCIC's Indicator Portal brings a range of health indicators together in one place. Providing quick and easy access to hundreds of indicators, it's a valuable information resource for all health and social care professionals, not just information specialists. 

Requesting data

To request data from the HSCIC please contact the Data Access Request Service (DARS).

Background information

Data Services for Commissioners home page

Find out more about the DSfC programme.

Directions for Data Services for Commissioners from NHS England

NHS England has issued Directions to the HSCIC for the establishment of the DSfC programme. FAQs on these Directions are also available. (Connected to N3 network required).

Legitimate commissioning relationships

The DSfC programme has issued a briefing note which outlines the current, interim process for its customers to request new, or make changes to legitimate commissioning relationships. The programme team regularly updates the list of legitimate commissioning relationships on the HSCIC website.

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