Key messages from the Directors of Public Health 13.01.23

The Cheshire and Merseyside (C&M) Directors of Public Health (DsPH) met on Friday 13th January. The key messages from the meeting are as follows:

  1. Local Health Resilience Partnership  – The DsPH were joined by colleagues from emergency planning from NHS England and the C&M Integrated Care Board who presented on the structure and role of the C&M local health resilience partnership (LHRP). DsPH Thara Raj and Sarah McNulty are co-chairs of the LHRP, together with Anthony Middleton (NHS).  The DsPH had a further discussion on effective future working.
  2. Population health update – The Director of Population Health post for the C&M Integrated Care Board has now been advertised (applications can be made here). The Health & Care Partnership meets week commencing 16th January to discuss their draft strategy, the workforce and the NHS operational planning guidance. The progress around fair employment will take place at a future meeting. Ian Ashworth, lead DPH for population health, will present the All Together Fairer (Marmot) work at a national health inequalities learning session later this month.
  3. UKHSA update – Numbers remain high for Scarlet Fever/Strep A infections and for invasive infections (IGAS) the numbers are high in 10-14 year olds as well as adults. There are slight improvements in Flu and Covid, however, UKHSA remain cautious of this due to the break at Christmas so will be monitoring the data over the next few weeks. The waste water surveillance has not detected cases of polio so far which is good news.
  4. North West workforce/business planning – DsPH flagged various issues for the public health workforce, including recruitment and retention, resilience and wellbeing, recognition and future learning opportunities. These issues will be fed into the new North West group (called Workforce Matters) by the C&M DPH workforce lead Matt Tyrer on behalf of the DsPH group.
  5. Good news and gratitude:
  • The C&M DsPH were happy to welcome Jeanelle de Gruchy, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, to Liverpool and found the visit extremely useful and informative.
  • A provider has been commissioned to develop a new pilot to assess public health workforce wellbeing and identify actions DsPH can take to enhance health and wellbeing after a particularly challenging period for public health staff.