Directors of public health tended to be less confident about hitting their local targets for 2006-07 than they were for last year, with scores falling against drug treatment and alcohol dependency, although scores for smoking cessation rose slightly.

Directors of public health tended to be less confident about hitting their local targets for 2006-07 than they were for last year, with scores falling against drug treatment and alcohol dependency, although scores for smoking cessation rose slightly.

The other loser was funding confidence, with a score of 2.64 out of 10 in having sufficient money this year and continuing cynicism about Choosing Health funding.

The biggest rise in confidence was on access to sexual health services, rising from 5.74 to 6.31 out of 10, and showing consistency between respondents.

The public health barometer is based on an anonymous survey of 90 primary care trust public health directors. It is run in association with the Association of Public Health Observatories ( www.apho.org.uk). Every barometer features a focus on a specific area, provided by the appropriate lead PHO.