Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have agreed five key areas on which they will work together, under the wider aim of improving the health of the nation and reducing inequalities.

The groups have published a 'Statement of Collaboration' broadly outlining a joint working plan and each of their related functions under the public health banner.

The five areas on which they will work together are: communicating with and supporting the local public health system; reviewing evidence and providing evidence-based guidance and other products; providing access to evidence about public health; providing support to put guidance into practice; and creating a standard public health taxonomy.

On NICE's side, its functions concern the provision of advice or guidance, information, and recommendations on providing public health services, including public health guidance, Quality and Outcomes Framework indicators for public health, and local government briefings.

Public health topics will be referred to NICE by the Secretary of State, who may also commission the development of Quality Standards for Public Health, it said.

Encouraging uptake

PHE will work together with the Institute to support the uptake of evidence-based public health interventions, by providing summaries of evidence and help to users seeking to navigate public health evidence.

In addition, the groups will jointly focus on the seamless procurement of national electronic resources for public health, such as such as journals and bibliographic databases, and access to them through NICE Evidence portal.

A Memorandum of Understanding will now be finalised by the groups, as well as a specific programme of joint work, in preparation for the incoming system in April, when the healthcare landscape will change dramatically.