Environmental Health Workforce Survey 2014/15

Workforce Survey

Environmental health services have been impacted by spending cuts over the past few years. This report highlights key findings following a comprehensive series of surveys with Environmental Health Managers across the UK and will help the CIEH better understand the challenges the profession faces. 

During 2014, we conducted a comprehensive survey of Environmental Health Managers working for local authorities across the UK, asking them for their thoughts on what has happened to the profession over the past few years and what they see for the future.

The  Environmental Health Workforce Survey 2014/15 forms part of the wider EH Futures programme, with which we are developing a vision and plan to help support the environmental health profession in becoming more robust and preparing for the future.

The survey found that the average budget for environmental health services, such as pest control and food hygiene inspections, has fallen by 6.8% in real terms between 2013-14 and 2014-15. Almost half of the respondents (47.4%) said that current resources were only just adequate to provide a basic statutory service and left no contingency; any further cuts would likely compromise service delivery.

Furthermore, authorities able to estimate their budget for 2015-16 expected a further fall in real terms of 30%, with pest control frequently cited as the service most likely to be stopped over the next three years. 55% of respondents also replied that further reductions were planned to the number of environmental health staff over the following year.

The survey was carried out in two parts: phase 1 was a quantitative survey targeting managers of environmental health services in all English local authorities and phase 2 was a series of structured interviews with environmental health managers in a stratified sample of English local authorities.

We are planning to build on the survey results sourced this year by surveying environmental health managers working within the private and other employment sectors.

As the EH Futures programme develops, we will continue to set standards, provide guidance and work with Government, local authorities and business to maintain vital environmental health services which in-turn will help local communities remain healthy, safe, productive and resilient.

For more information, contact Sharon Smith.

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