Six months in Public Health

I am writing this blog as I approach the end of six months working within the Public Health directorate at Hertfordshire County Council. As I reflect on the time I have spent here, this opportunity has brought me so much in knowledge, experience and exposure. Having a biological sciences background, health was certainly an area I was interested in working in. However public health I felt generally unfamiliar with, having studied health more from a biological/anatomical perspective. I have been fortunate enough to get a varied placement within the department, including working closely with the University to launch PH Connect and deliver our partnership masterclasses. Our most recent session on the future of public health, brought together professionals across the county from a wide range of organisations. The session allowed constructive discussion about how we all can consider public health in the work we do and bridging the academic research

July 10th, 2019|

Population health: The Emperor’s new clothes?

The blog post last month from Hertfordshire’s Director of Public Health, Jim McManus, 'Population Health: What’s (not) in a name?', articulated the key issues that should keep all of us within public health on track when considering population health. Avoid confusion with clear use of language; differentiate between population health and population health management; consider wider determinants of health alongside downstream approaches, when relevant or complementary. All the issues raised by Jim are pertinent. Population health and its management could, though, be viewed as the Emperor’s new clothes, a smokescreen, designed to lead those working or championing public health to believe there is a new kid on the block that they must engage with to remain at the cutting edge and to be seen to deliver services and policies that benefit the populations they work with or care about. So, what, if anything, can we usefully take from the

June 20th, 2019|

Population Health: What’s (not) in a name?

Prof. Jim McManus DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH Hertfordshire County Council Vice-President, Association of Directors of Public Health UK Population Health as a concept and a title has become the flavour of the month. Up and down the country, there has been an awful lot of talk, the publication of many “think papers” on how it will make the NHS more sustainable (for example here ) and a great deal of events, conferences and seminars. And everyone has a varied take on it. The King’s Fund have a take on population health which seeks to include wider determinants.  Other takes are much more focused on the use of data stratification tools for already unwell patient cohorts at local level. All in all, it’s easy to conclude that this feels a bit like some bits of the debate around that other much confused term “wellbeing”: everyone thinks

May 2nd, 2019|

Children’s Mental Health Week

Dr Harriet Edmondson Public Health Registrar The Children’s Mental Health week took place nationally from the 4th-10thFebruary. This was followed shortly afterwards by the Feeling Good Week in Hertfordshire from 11-17thFebruary which aimed to promote emotional wellbeing for children and young people by raising awareness and showing where support can be accessed within the community. The mental health and wellbeing of young people is a key area of work for the public health team in Hertfordshire and these events provide an opportunity to reflect on the work being done. This is an important public health issue: one in four people will experience a mental health problem during their lifetime and over three quarters of mental health problems start before young people reach their early twenties. At public health journal club this month, we discussed a recent paper looking at links between screen time and anxiety and depression

April 2nd, 2019|