CIEH welcomes the creation of the new Office for Health Promotion that aims to improve and level up the health of the nation by tackling obesity, improving mental health and promoting physical activity.
The Office will recruit an expert lead who will report jointly into the Health Secretary and the Chief Medical Officer. It hopes to bring together a range of skills to lead public health policies and will sit within the Department of Health and Social Care. This is a part of the planned Health and Care White paper and follows the establishment of the new UK Health Security Agency which is set to launch in April.
Gary McFarlane, CIEH Director Northern Ireland, said:
“CIEH welcomes any developments which strengthen and improve public health. Whilst we therefore welcome both these new organisations, we would now like to see government establish a professional environmental health role within Government as is the case in both Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as environmental health roles within these new bodies.
The work of EHOs is, and always has been, a key part of public health in the UK. Their work contributes significantly towards both health protection and health improvement. England needs their professional expertise as part of the multidisciplinary input to public health at the highest policy level as well as capacity to address and reinforce the linkages between central and local government where public health is ultimately delivered within the public sector.
England needs a Chief EHO to work along with the other key public health professionals in government as well as environmental health expertise within these new organisations. We look forward to ongoing discussions with government to realise this.”