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This book is written for people working in primary care, who want to understand more about how they contribute to improving the health and health care of the populations that they serve, and for people working in public health, who want to understand the essential contribution of primary care to improving health. It sets out the nature, purpose and relevance of public health approaches to primary care practitioners and primary care organisations. Primary care teams have had a long established role in public health, providing preventive services to populations, through the registered population in general practice. This model of a registered practice population has withstood multiple reconfigurations and reorganisations within the NHS and is the envy of many countries trying to create a public health system with primary care at its heart. There are clear differences in approach, with the inevitable conflicts between the rights of the individual set against the responsibility to ensure services are delivered fairly and equitably to whole populations. This book explores this dilemma, showing how people working in primary care can cross the divide to become part of the public health system, and in doing so are well placed to make a difference to the health of their populations.
Dr Sian Griffiths has held a variety of service public health posts within academic links at international, national, regional and local level in the UK. She was Chair of the Association for Public Health, Co-founder of the UKPHA, President of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians UK, and Co-Chair of the Hong Kong government's expert committee into the SARS epidemic. Her interests are in developing health policy through public health approaches and in developing public health capacity to deliver improved health of the public and she has advised the Hong Kong and UK governments on aspects of public health policy and practice. Dr Alison Hill is Director of Supporting Public Health, an NHS agency in Oxford which provides public health intelligence, specialised support to service commissioning, and public health workforce development. She is also Director of the South East Public Health Observatory (SEPHO), a joint initiative between the NHS and the University of Oxford. She is Editor of the Faculty of Public Health's newsletter and was previously Director of Public Health in Buckinghamshire. Dr Stephen Gillam is Director of Undergraduate Public Health Teaching, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge. He is also General Practitioner Principal at Lea Vale Practice, Luton and, Visiting Professor, Department of Primary Care, University of Luton. He was previously Director of Primary Care at the King's Fund and has been heavily involved in charting the impact of primary care policy under new Labour.