Our lives and society are changing at this very moment. This is not only the biggest global public health crisis for 100 years, but also the most disruptive thing to happen to the UK in living memory.
Environmental health is more important now than ever. Not only are EH teams at the front line of mitigating the epidemic, but the work of keeping the public safe from hazards other than coronavirus must also continue. We realise that many members were already overstretched and are now being asked to step up further. Some of you are shifting from a flooding emergency right into the pandemic.
But we know that EHPs' skills mean that you are uniquely placed to contribute significantly to deal with the immediate issues on the ground, as well as the knock-on health impacts of isolation and business disruption that will inevitably arise.
CIEH is here to support and provide a platform for professional communication. We are fully operational – most of us are working from home – and you can still contact us via the usual channels. We will work to share best practice as well as broadcasting the essential role the profession is playing in the developing crisis. We have been working closely with all the key government agencies across the UK since the start of this crisis and will continue to do so.
As far as your safety is concerned, while this is primarily your employer’s responsibility, there are clear guidelines for workers here.
Concrete things we are doing right now:
- Lobbying for EH to be a designated 'key' frontline profession alongside healthcare workers and teachers
- Compiling a region-by-region list of people who have contacted us offering their services as volunteers. We are also contacting public sector services (local authorities and public health bodies) as well as the community and voluntary sectors to offer volunteer capacity as needed. If you want your name added to this list please complete our online registration form
- We've summarised government and public advice here
- We're gathering and sharing good practice
The situation is changing constantly and we will keep you updated through EHN, EHN Extra and our membership communications channels. You can also keep up to date using #EHCovid-19 on social media.