The third sector must play a greater role in public health, the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations has argued.

A report from ACEVO’s commission on public health says recent governments have seen public health as the role of the state, rather than society as a whole.

The organisation used its report to call on the government to emphasise partnership between the state and the third sector in the public health white paper expected in December.

It recommends that the £15bn-£20bn of efficiency savings planned in the NHS should be channelled into preventive work.

The report also argues councils have targets to increase public health contracts awarded to private and charity providers, saying: “To stimulate the market and achieve a cultural step change, directors of public health should be required to award an increasing proportion of contracts to providers from the private and voluntary sectors.”