Public Health England update

Organisational structure and appointments

Public Health England (PHE) has finalised its organisational structure in advance of going live of 1 April. It can be seen here.

The following National Executive appointments have been announced recently:

  • Michael Brodie will be the new Finance and Commercial Director and will take up post in June following the retirement of Dr Tony Sannia, Director of Finance and Resources.
  • Dr Jenny Harries has been appointed Regional Director for the South of England and will take up post full time in April.

These complete PHE’s National Executive. The directorate headed by Professor Kevin Fenton is being renamed ‘Health and Wellbeing’. A full list of the National Executive can be seen here.

A further six of the eight vacant PHE Centre Director posts have also been announced

  • Dr Jane Rossini, currently Joint Director of Public Health for NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale and Rochdale Borough Council, has been appointed Centre Director for Cumbria and Lancashire;
  • Dr Fu-Meng Khaw, currently Joint Director of Public Health for NHS Newcastle and Newcastle City Council, will be Centre Director for Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire;
  • Dr Gina Radford, currently Consultant in Public Health at NHS Cambridgeshire, will be Centre Director for Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge and Essex;
  • Dr Shona Arora, Joint Director of Public Health for NHS Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire County Council, will be Centre Director for Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire;
  • Professor Debra Lapthorne, currently Joint Director of Public Health for NHS Plymouth and Plymouth City Council, will be Centre Director for Devon, Cornwall and Somerset;
  • Dr Jim O’Brien, currently Deputy Regional Director of Public Health NHS South-West, will be Centre Director for Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Dorset.

Most of our new appointees will be in place before PHE is up and running in April. Where not, contingency arrangements will be confirmed.

Recruitment is taking place for the remaining two director posts for the centres in Thames Valley and Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire.

Public Health England centres and regions

Public Health England centres will be responsible for assuring that the services and expertise provided focused on local needs. Its director will be a full partner in the local public health system, which includes the voluntary and community sector, and their role will be to provide a range of services and expert advice that is tailored to the needs, wishes and aspirations of local government, clinical commissioning groups and the local NHS.

Each centre will provide leadership and support across all three domains of public health – health protection, health improvement and healthcare public health. This will include:

  • supporting local government in their leadership of the local public health system
  • supporting directors of public health across the range of their responsibilities enabling them to access specialised advice and support when required
  • working with the NHS Commissioning Board to support it in its role as a direct commissioner of key services, including specialist services and national public health programmes
  • providing leadership in responding to emergencies where scale is necessary.

PHE’s four regions are coterminous with those of the NHS Commissioning Board and other national partners and they also map onto the nine regional local government groupings. Each will nurture, assure and support the local public health system and maintain an overview of the whole system’s progress in implementing the Public Health Outcomes Framework. They will have a special responsibility for workforce development.

Public Health England brand and web address 

Public Health England has adopted the Royal Coat of Arms as its corporate logo from 1 April, capitalising on research, which indicates the public have confidence in the Royal Arms.  PHE’s email address from 1 April 2013 will be @phe.gov.uk and web address will be www.gov.uk/phe

Local authority and academic public health – medical revalidation and honorary contracts

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association, in conjunction with Public Health England (PHE), recently sent out a communication to universities to collect the necessary information on public health academics who might need to replace their current NHS honorary contract for one with PHE.

Where PHE holds an honorary contract for an academic, the contract will enable PHE to act as the Responsible Officer for medical revalidation, provide access to clinical excellence awards and fulfil the obligations within the academic consultant contract previously undertaken by the NHS. PHE will also be the designated body for the medical revalidation of local authority public health consultants.

If you are a public health academic and have not heard anything from your university please contact your HR department or email the Department of Health directly on localpublichealth@dh.gsi.gov.uk before 1 April to request advice.

For both academic and local authority medical consultants who are unsure about their medical revalidation see the Faculty of Public Health website and email revalidation@hpa.org.uk before1 April.

Further details on the continuation of funding for certain public health academic activity was given last month here

Chief Knowledge Officer Bulletin

The latest two issues of Public Health England’s Chief Knowledge Officer Directorate transition bulletins can be found here and here.

Public health surveillance publication

The “Towards a Public Health Surveillance Strategy for England” document has been published. This sets out plans for developing a coherent surveillance strategy for public health in England, drawing on the skills within Public Health England across health protection, health improvement and clinical services as well as those of our partner agencies such as the MHRA.

Read more

Collaboration between PHE and NICE

Public Health England and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have agreed on five areas of collaboration. These include communicating with and supporting the local public health system, reviewing evidence and providing evidence-based guidance and other products, providing access to evidence, providing support to put guidance into practice and creating a standard public health taxonomy. Professor John Newton, Chief Knowledge Officer, is leading on this for PHE.

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