Public health networks: Mutual aid or another management layer?
The government has introduced the idea of public health networks as a way of addressing the problem of limited public health resources in Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). A number of different concepts of such networks have been proposed, which diverge considerably in the degree to which networks are or are not formally organised and managed. This paper presents data from interviews with PCT Directors of Public Health and representatives of national organisations concerned with the public health/primary care interface. The views expressed were similarly diverse. Some doubted whether networks were necessarily the best way for PCTs to work together, and there were concerns that territoriality right impede joint agendas. The efforts required to establish networks may be significant and expensive.