THE man given the job of heading the transfer of public health from the NHS to North Yorkshire County Council has taken up his new job.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, 45, a West Indies-born Cambridge graduate and epidemiologist, has moved from his role as a public consultant in Cambridge, to become the new director of public health in North Yorkshire. He said: “This is an exciting time to be at the forefront of public health policy and strategy. The transfer of public health responsibilities from the NHS to county councils like North Yorkshire will provide a tremendous opportunity for a truly joined-up approach to the really important issues. With one organisation being responsible for so many key areas, for example education and economic policy, there is real scope to make a difference to people’s lives and their health.”

Responsibility for public health, such as immunisation, nutrition, help with stopping smoking and alcohol advice will transfer to the county council from the NHS on April 1 next year.

Dr Sargeant said: “We will work hard to ensure that despite the complexity of the reforms to the health service, high-quality front line public health services continue to be delivered over the transition period.”