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Wednesday, 13 December 2023, Louise Hosking, Executive Director of Environmental Health
As well as work to restructure our membership engagement activities, working with the Board and Executive Management Team, it has been conference season where I have been engaging with new audiences on all things environmental health. As well as establishing our new frameworks for the Advisory Panels.
I have had the opportunity to raise the visibility of environmental health at several conferences and events. I attended the UK Hearing Conservation Association Conference, where I presented in respect of noise pollution and noise as a health and safety issue, highlighting the critical role of our members and the work we are undertaking to advocate in this area including in respect of planning considerations.
At the HSE UK North Congress, I presented on mental health as a public health issue, showcasing the work of our members and discussing how wellbeing is affected across the pillars of environmental health.
In October, I presented at the Public Policy Exchange Webinar on air pollution in the UK along with Steve McCabe MP and other key decision makers in this area. I urged delegates to consider a holistic approach to EH, encouraging decision makers to dispense with the health v wealth dichotomy.
While at the Noise Abatement Society Trustees John Connell Awards hosted by Sir Peter Bottomly MP, I had the opportunity to meet members and stakeholders working in this field in person. I was also delighted to attend CTSI Hero Awards which celebrates outstanding achievements in consumer protection. This year CIEH supported the first Megan Lee Hero award.
In November I joined Duncan Stephenson from CTSI and Louis Crog from Cheltenham Borough Council in a panel discussion on regulatory challenges at the Institute of Licensing National Training Conference 2023.
In addition to the above, the CIEH events team have recently ran a number of successful conferences and it was great to see so many engaged members attend. In particular, our Beauty Conference in October brought experts together to discuss the recent UK Government consultation on the proposed new England-wide licensing scheme for non-surgical cosmetic procedures. In the keynote session, Professor David Sines CBE, Chair of the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP), and Sarah Clover, one of the top Licensing barristers in the country, discussed the key concepts and principles of the consultation. (Our response to this consultation can be found on our website.) The conference also discussed the mandatory licensing scheme for special procedures practitioners in Wales and various other developments.
Photo right: (L-R) Alison Richardson, Staffordshire County Council, recipient of the 2023 CTSI Megan Lee Hero Award, TV personality Jenny Falconer, Louise Hosking, Executive Director, CIEH. Courtesy of CTSI/Lichfield Live.
Impacts across EH does not stop at our borders. In October I presented online at the International Conference on the Impact of Climate Change on Food Security hosted by the Food Hygiene Bureau. This was an opportunity to talk about how climate change will have an impact across EH. In particular, I spoke about the importance of nations aligning with the UN Sustainability Goals established to create a more integrated approach to decision making across nature, people, society and the economy.
I was delighted to host David Dyjack from the USA National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) at our office, 15Hatfields. Additionally, Zena Lynch Chair of MLPAG, Jon Buttolph CIEH Executive Director of Professional Standards and myself met with Kirstin Ross from Environmental Health Australia (EHA). It is clear we are all tackling very similar challenges, not least workforce issues.
Finally, in December I presented alongside colleagues from other professional membership organisations at the Global People Sustainability Summit in London. Once again this was an opportunity to showcase the critical role of EH professionals.
Photo (L-R): Kirstin Ross, Environmental Health Australia, Zena Lynch, Louise Hosking.
We had a phenomenal response to our recent campaign for members to join our new Advisory Panels for Public Health and Port Health, with over 90 applications received. We are currently working through the applications to ensure panels are constituted in a manner which is reflective of our membership from local authority work, private sector, academia, military and elsewhere.
All our panels will work to identify two or three priority areas which we can focus on for 2024. The internal policy team are challenging our panel volunteers to consider how / where the biggest health impacts can be best served and what these will be. We are also considering mental health across EH and sustainability in its broadest terms.
I continue to be humbled by the work of our members, our active member volunteers and the whole of the internal CIEH crew. The real power is when we work in true partnership no matter where we work and across our specialisms to fulfil our vision of safer, cleaner, healthier environments for the benefit of all; placing people front and centre, both within work and across our communities.