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News & Views

Commissioning for health and well-being

A new commissioning guide for promoting health and well-being has just been launched by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).

Sir Muir Gray, Director of The National Knowledge Service, considers that the Guide is essential in helping Primary Care Trusts to commission services to promote health and well-being and reduce inequalities. He comments; “This Guide will help people do good work more efficiently and will prevent a waste of resources. I strongly recommend Primary Care Trusts should not take action without reading the Guide first.

The Guide, which has been developed by the RSPH in partnership with the National Social Marketing Centre, with funding from the English Department of Health, is now available to download, for free, from the RSPH website ( RSPH will also work to support the Guide with national dissemination and training via its courses.

Practical and accessible, the Guide is based on the many developments that have taken place in the practice of health promotion and social marketing in recent years. It draws on an integrated model of health promotion and social marketing. The value and characteristics of effective health promotion and social marketing are explained, and the Guide includes tools and techniques to help to attain those characteristics, as well as case studies of how to commission to achieve the best outcomes.

The Guide will assist commissioners in choosing and fully utilising the best methods of promoting health, as it is written with the latest understanding of how commissioners can support people to make healthy choices as individuals within the social and environmental contexts in which they live.

Richard Shircore, Programme Manager and Lead Author, comments on the importance of the Guide: “This exciting ‘toolkit’ is a huge step forward in providing commissioning guidance to the sector to improve population health. Advice and guidance on commissioning for health improvement has been relatively neglected in the past and this Guide has been developed to fill an important gap”.


  • The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is an independent, multi-disciplinary organisation, dedicated to the promotion and protection of collective human health and well-being. For more information visit
  • The RSPH is an independent charity formed in October 2008 with the merger of the Royal Society of Health (RSH) and the Royal Institute of Public Health (RIPH). The RSPH has a Royal Charter and the Patron is Her Majesty The Queen.
  • The RSPH has 6,000 members all working in the field of public health. Membership comes with a range of professional benefits.
  • The RSPH is host to the Shaping the Future collaboration, a joint venture with the Faculty of Public Health, UK Public Health Register and Institute of Health Promotion and Education, and is partly funded by the UK Departments of Health. Its aim is to advocate for the importance of specialised health promotion within public health and support the specialised health promotion workforce.

For further information, please contact:

Richard Shircore
Royal Society for Public Health
Tel: 01753 274112 / 07943 404 388

Published on: January 20, 2010

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