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Health Development Agency

Volume 621: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2001

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What have been the major activities of the Health Development Agency since its inception on 1 April 2000. [HL441]

The Health Development Agency (HDA) has been engaged on a wide range of initiatives reflecting the functions assigned to it under its Establishment Order. In particular, it has provided expert support to the development and implementation of the public health aspects of the NHS Plan. The agency's chair was a member of the Prevention and Inequalities Modernisation Action Team and is a member of the Inequalities and Public Health Task Force, and the chief executive is a member of the Coronary Heart Disease Task Force. In addition, since its inception the HDA has completed or initiated a wide range of projects. It has:developed "Evidence Base", an online gateway providing access to the best available information on what works to improve health and reduce health inequalities. It is aimed at a wide range of practitioners and researchers engaged in public health work. It has also developed an online public health information service, maintaining and updating a number of websites providing information and guidance to public health professionalscompleted, published and disseminated a survey of health improvement programmes, the first of a series of annual reviewsprepared, published and disseminated guidance for supporting the primary prevention parts of the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Diseasepublished updated guidelines for health professionals on smoking cessation, followed by a series of seminars to publicise themunder the National Healthy School Standard, carried out a formal assessment of 16 local education authorities, completed accreditation training for 68, and more than doubled the number of schools involved

as part of the preparation of the Department of Health's sexual health strategy carried out consultation with young people

carried out an audit of the level and quality of specialist skills amongst the public health workforce

established the HDA as a fully functional organisation, including undertaking an extensive recruitment programme, and established networks within and outside the NHS.

A number of other projects are due to be completed before the end of the HDA's first year, and these are outlined in its summary business plan.