Working in Public Health in the UK

The role of Public Health
in local government
Dr Sue Greig, Consultant in Public Health
Maternity, Children and Young People, Sexual Health
Sheffield City Council
ScHaRR Career Event 20 May 2014
Major structural changes were introduced by the Health and Social Care Act
Are the new structures
any better at reducing
health inequalities?
Public Health England
In 2013/14 our priorities will be:
 Helping people to live longer and more healthy lives by reducing preventable deaths
and the burden of ill health associated with smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, poor
diet, poor mental health, insufficient exercise, and alcohol
 Reducing the burden of disease and disability in life by focusing on preventing and
recovering from the conditions with the greatest impact, including dementia, anxiety,
depression and drug dependency
 Protecting the country from infectious diseases and environmental hazards, including
the growing problem of infections that resist treatment with antibiotics
 Supporting families to give children and young people the best start in life, through
Health Visiting, School Nursing, and FNP’s
 Improving health in the workplace by encouraging employers to support their staff and
those moving into and out of the workforce, to lead healthier lives
 Promoting the development of place-based public health systems
 Developing our capacity and capability to provide professional, scientific and delivery
expertise to our partners
PHE Review
Public Health in Local Government - 9 months on
Challenges of working in public health in
local government – a personal view
• Democratic accountability – working with
local politicians
• Public Health grant ring fence: good or bad?
• Public Health structure in Local Government:
control vs influence
• Dumbing down specialist Public Health?
• Changing face of Public Health leadership
10 tips for working with (Sheffield)
Cabinet Members
Short term impact vs long-term impact
Detail really matters
Politicians are political
Competing balancing acts
Politicians are good at difficult decisions
Politicians are bad at surprises
Telepathy is difficult to master
How would you act if you had an opposition?
Honest tension is fine
We’ve got your back!
Sheffield Public Health Review
May/June 2014: What are the public
health ‘game changers’?
Early Years
Making Every Contact Count
Employment, learning and skills
Physical activity
Regulation: tobacco, alcohol, food
Environment and sustainability
Air quality
Improving Public Health
Source: p58
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