activematters response | Fit for the future: public health people
Public Health England (PHE) publishes a review of the public health workforce future capabilities and skills | May 19 2015
The review ignores the key questions:
- the key challenges facing Public Health People now – obesity, mental health and physical inactivity!
- why does it not include Early Years educators (practitioners, child minders and nursery staff)
- are parents – not part of the Public Health People – when it comes to children
- what are the drivers, measures and training required that will influence the way the workforce will need to develop – education and educators – not just another ‘marketing campaign’
- what does this mean in terms of the future composition of the workforce, and the skills and capabilities needed? More importantly – who and how are these people trained or up-skilled, evaluated and monitored. More importantly – who is going to fund the required training
- how should the public health system (and education) respond nationally and locally to prepare a workforce that is fit for the future
- Why is the division between health and education being maintained
Good public health work of the future will mean that education and training are key drivers:
- People (parents and carers, teachers and practitioners) are more engaged with their own health; there is a stronger social movement to value and promote health and wellbeing – this engagement needs to be reinforced and developed when it comes to children, parents, carers, child-minders, practitioners and nursery staff!
- Education with regard to Public Health is championed and delivered through a wider range of engaged partners including business and communities – a setting-based, practitioner/teacher/community-centred approach, with decision-making at local level, is key to this
- How are the CMO guidelines going to be delivered upon other than public ‘advertising’ campaigns – which have been ineffective in real and measurable terms!
- Health and educational inequalities and trends in current burdens of disease (obesity, mental and physical inactivity) and their risk factors are reducing, with greater understanding of the causes of ill-health, obesity and lack of physical activity
- Research and development is required to combat the key issues of obesity, mental health and lack of physical activity in children
- Public health and education leadership at the parental, setting, local and national level remains strong, with directors of public health and education drawn from a variety of backgrounds!