Published: 22/04/2002, Volume II4, No. 5902 Page 7

The NHS should not be set any more performance targets to improve public health, Derek Wanless has said.

The Treasury adviser - whose public health report Securing Good Health for the Whole Population was published earlier this year - told delegates at this week's UK Public Health Association annual public health forum that a set of national objectives around the 'determinants of ill health' should be established instead.

Mr Wanless said performance targets had 'eroded professionalism' in the NHS and this had to be stopped. He also said the NHS needed better management at a local level on public health.

He said 'people who know their own local targets and are able to make their own local trade-offs' needed to lead the new era of public health.

Mr Wanless called for local and individual objectives to be set which targeted public health for children, ethnic minorities and deprived groups.

He said he was encouraged by the way some primary care trusts were working together to share resources, but this needed to happen across the board.

The Department of Health's consultation on a public health white paper is due to close at the end of next month.