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New book seeks to highlight EHPs’ pandemic work

Submissions could also provide evidence to a future public inquiry.
14 October 2020 , Katie Coyne

A new book will highlight EHPs’ work as well as lessons learned throughout the pandemic and those in the profession are invited to contribute.

The book will be part of the Routledge Focus on Environmental Health series, which is edited by former CIEH president Stephen Battersby, and the aim is to have it published by the early spring.

EH officers from both the UK and around the world are being invited to send in their submissions. Battersby said the more evidence can be gathered, the more lessons can be learned.

With an eye on the heavy workload EHPs are facing particularly with a second wave of COVID-19 in sight, and the fast changing nature of the pandemic, officers are being invited to send in submissions long or short, and the editors are happy to accept them “however brief”.

They ask that EHPs to send in their views about what they think has been done well or badly, what initiatives they have been involved in, and any other insight they wish to share.

Battersby said: “The book is both to highlight the work that EHPs have done - all over the world if we can - because I'm sure we can learn from what's happened in other countries. The more information we have, the more lessons can be learnt.”

While the EH profession was particularly equipped to help out across many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been criticisms that the sector was not fully utilised. Battersby said that the book could also explore this aspect, and possibly provide evidence to any future inquiry into governmental failures in dealing with the pandemic.

Battersby said: “I also see no reason why we shouldn't also be critical of governments, whichever government – and not just the Westminster government. Part of the purpose of the series is to provide an opportunity for EHPs to get things off their chests.

“One of the thoughts that went through my mind is that it would be like accumulating evidence. We're working to about 30,000 to 35,000 words so at least it can be used as evidence, even if it's summarised, for any future enquiry.

“That's a thought in my mind - probably nobody else's. But that's what prompted me to come up with the notion of this.”

Battersby is the series editor, but Chris Day, a former CIEH education manager and former EH lecturer at King’s College, is editing the new pandemic book. Please send submissions to [email protected]

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