Can Public Health work confidently with commercial partners? A Case Study using commercial resources for local amplification of a national campaign.
PHE ePoster Library. Huntley C. Sep 12, 2019; 274326; 135
Catherine Huntley
Catherine Huntley
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Abstract Introduction
Cuts to public health funding across England have created a climate of financial stress. As local authority public health teams face the challenge of improving health outcomes with reducing budgets, the opportunity to form partnerships with the private sector has arisen, particularly for investing in prevention activities. Recently, some high profile cases of public health organisations working with commercial partners have drawn criticism. Depending on the approach, there are potential opportunities and challenges to such partnerships. Learning from this case study contributes to an evidence base around which to structure future public-private interactions for prevention activities.MethodLambeth Public Health worked with an independent not-for-profit organisation to amplify a national campaign, funded by commercial organisations, encouraging children to eat more vegetables. Local amplification activities included marketing initiatives, school-based activities, and a family event. Partnering with an independent organisation allowed the team to avoid direct collaboration with commercial partners. Although this provided a buffer, the team was exposed to issues of working with industry, including differing cultures, priorities, and timelines. Nevertheless, both the team and local community benefitted from additional resources and expertise.
Absence of agreed rules of engagement from the start posed some challenges. Collaboration between local public health teams and commercial partners should be supported by clear frameworks. While the WHO issues guidance on public-private partnerships, no such policies exist nationally. Establishing national guidelines to govern relationships between public health and commercial partners would be beneficial to local teams, allowing them to act with greater confidence. External funding details
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