Cheshire & Merseyside aims to create a coherent and joined up approach and strategy towards health protection for the area. By working together, it is hoped that value will be added to the work of individual organisations through professional support, sharing information and good practice so that we can act together to tackle the most important health protection challenges for local authorities.
Why is it important?
Health Protection is one of Public Health’s core duties.
It includes stopping the spread of communicable diseases, screening for diseases, immunisations, emergency planning to prevent or deal with natural or manmade disasters, preventing harm from contaminated land, preventing poor air quality and pandemic planning.
It requires that we work in partnership with the public, the police, hospitals, primary care, ambulances and local authorities. A good example of this is our integrated planning to deal with Corona Virus.
What are we doing?
The Health Protection strategy encompasses a number of important areas of work as follows:
- Air Quality – Work is underway to make air quality a priority issue locally by ensuring that local areas have access to information about air quality and by introducing activity into schools around National Air Quality Day. An Air Quality Network is also being established for Cheshire & Merseyside.
- Screening and Immunisation – Ensuring a robust system is in place to scrutinise and support screening and immunisation uptake through collaborative locality plans and groups. Improved system approach to tackling unwarranted variation and inequalities in screening and immunisation uptake.
- Medicines Management – The purpose of this service is to give qualified advice and support to optimise medicines management in local authority, public health commissioned services across Cheshire and Merseyside.
Anti-microbial resistance is also included within this workstream.
The Health Protection leads meet regularly to support each other by sharing skills, expertise and capacity through teleconference calls and face to face meetings. The group meet face to face twice a year, once in Merseyside and once in Cheshire and via teleconference calls twice a year. Meetings are chaired by Eileen O’Meara, as lead DPH and co-chair of Cheshire Local Health Resilience Partnership (LHRP).
Thara Raj is the lead Director of Public Health for Health Protection.