A big thankyou to everyone involved in the Cheshire & Merseyside Integrated Health Protection Course

As the successful Cheshire & Merseyside Integrated Health Protection course has now come to an end, we would like to thank everyone involved, the Champs Public Health Collaborative, University of Liverpool, UKHSA and all course participants whose feedback enhanced the course delivery.

The Integrated Health Protection Course which has successfully trained 155 public health colleagues across 11 different cohorts was first delivered in January 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way of upskilling the contact tracing workforce. But as contact tracing activities undertaken by local authorities reduced, there was still a need to develop the competencies of the public health workforce in relation to health protection, to be able to support system resilience, and the training course continued until March 2024.

The course was offered to the wider public health workforce over a four-week period and covered various topics such as: Vaccines and Immunisation, Infection Prevention & Control Communication, and Diseases such as measles, influenza, norovirus, mpox.

Dr Matt Tyrer, Director of Public Health for Cheshire East and Lead Director of Public Health for Health Protection said:

“I want to thank everyone who has been involved in developing and delivering the introduction to health protection course, and of course to everyone who attended and participated. The skills, knowledge, and confidence that this course has equipped people with over its duration has been fantastic and that really shines through in the feedback. We are excited to continue the continuing professional development of everyone involved in health protection and build on the introductory course.”

Thara Raj, Director of Population Health & Inequalities, Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:


“Health protection competencies are an essential part of public health practice. During the Covid19 pandemic we relied heavily on our public health teams including contact tracers, who needed to be trained in health protection competencies or offered refresher training. Champs Public Health Collaborative worked with the University of Liverpool and the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) to provide a high-quality training programme that strengthened our workforce to tackle the pandemic. It proved to be very popular, and we had requests from across the Northwest and wider to join the programme, which was free to participants and valued highly. I am grateful to all those who delivered and undertook the programme, especially Edwin Panford-Quainoo, the programme coordinator whose tenacity made the course a success”

Feedback from the delegates:

Taking an overview of the course I think it has been very well and carefully put together with a good flow which embeds the learning topic and includes for refreshing of content in the last two sessions alongside other learning.

There was a great balance of lectures, videos and reading and the questions were an important part too. Thank you so much for a fantastic course and hopefully there will be more in the future. Well done to all involved.

This course helped me learn new skills as well as improve existing skills. Coincidently, I was dealing with multiple outbreaks in various settings at the same time as completing the course so the additional knowledge I gained was paramount, along with being able to give real-time examples to the rest of the cohort.

I found the overview on health protection key partners really useful – wish I had been given that knowledge 18 months ago!

I particularly valued the topic of meningococcal disease and understanding the purpose of chemoprophylaxis. This will be very beneficial when managing these cases in the future.

I liked the pace and the atmosphere of the course; nobody was put under pressure to speak but if you wanted to speak up then there was plenty of opportunity to do this.

Participation was actively encouraged and there was fabulous interaction from the whole group which greatly added to the learning from real life experiences from different members of the group.

Following the end of the Integrated Health Protection course, the Champs Public Health Collaborative will continue to support wider workforce development programmes.