Providing A Lifeline: Effective Scrutiny of Local Council Strategies to Prevent or Reduce Suicide

November 2, 2018 in ADPH Updates, Mental Health, Publications by Lucy Sutton

The Centre for Public Scrutiny, the Local Government Association and ADPH have published the report ‘Providing a Lifeline: Effective Scrutiny of Local Council Strategies to Prevent or Reduce Suicide’. The publication looks at effective scrutiny of local strategies to prevent or reduce suicide, focusing on context and relevance for scrutiny, quality improvement and the role of scrutiny and provides 10 questions for scrutiny committees to ask. 

The publication can be viewed here.

 

 

by admin

Sector-led improvement in public health: Progress and potential

October 26, 2018 in ADPH Updates, Publications, Sector Led Improvement by admin

Embedding SLI in public health has become a real collaboration between partners. The LGA, ADPH and PHE are working together to support its development at regional, national and local levels. You can view the most recent joint publication here.

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Tackling alcohol, challenging the norm

September 28, 2018 in ADPH Updates, President's Blog, Publications by admin

I remember arriving in the UK as a Junior Doctor to work in the NHS in the mid-90s. The nurses were my new friends, and I used to join them at 9pm post shift for a crawl down the Derby Mile.

The bigger the group, the more the rounds to be gotten through before the 11pm closing hour bell rang. Then curry and Cobra at the end. Not something I had known before, but seemingly commonplace and well, normal.

I jumped into my new social scene with gusto, before long exceeding any recommended unit count, and rapidly putting on weight. A trip back home allowed for a welcome detox and sensible reflection and resolve.

Drinking too much. So easily done when it’s so normal.

The normalisation of harmful heavy drinking

Around that time, there seemed to be an explosion of new product development, new marketing approaches, new ‘normal’ ways of drinking – I remember the bursting onto the stage of alcopops, the surge of stag and hen dos, the creative, free-flowing Happy Hour promotions …

Licensed premises have exploded in numbers since 2005/6 – in my borough, there was a 41% increase. Schools and even hairdressers joined the corner stores and 24 hour pubs.

Since 1970 the amount of alcohol consumed per person has risen by 50% in the UK. Over that period alcohol has become relatively cheaper and more readily available. Alcohol is aggressively and expertly marketed and drinking has become a normal feature of everyday life.

Alcohol can play a positive social and economic role – and the large majority of people enjoy alcohol without harm. However, excessive alcohol use can have a harmful effect on individuals, their families and our community. The number of alcohol-related admissions to hospitals in England has risen yet again, with middle-aged drinkers most likely to be admitted, according to new Public Health England figures. We know we need to do something.

Navigating new approaches to population health

We know that public health issues such as these are too complex for a business as usual approach. We do need to challenge our own thinking and innovate – while developing, and keeping an eye on, the evidence of what works.

Partnering with Drinkaware could be just such a shift. However major changes in approach need careful consideration – a precautionary approach. The Alcohol Leadership Board should have been a place to talk this through with experienced and knowledgeable people.  The ADPH was therefore disappointed at PHE’s independent decision to collaborate with Drinkaware which has led us to a place where we, as a public health system in the broadest sense, have been, in effect, arguing publicly. And sadly, it is likely that this will lead to further confusion for the public around the actual messages about alcohol harm.

The key point is that alcohol is produced for profit. The more that is sold, the greater the profit. The industry spends billions creating new markets, promoting its product and lobbying for favourable business conditions. It spends some on corporate social responsibility (CSR).

A critical review in the latest (Sept) edition of WHO’s Public Health Panorama: Alcohol industry actions to reduce harmful drinking in Europe: public health or public relations? concluded that CSR activities conducted by the alcohol industry in the WHO European Region ‘are unlikely to contribute to WHO targets but may have a public-relations advantage for the alcohol industry’.

And we can all now quote the evidence review produced by PHE (2016) which demonstrated that education campaigns on their own, and particularly those with industry involvement, will not reduce alcohol harm.

These are some of the reasons why the public health community has a healthy scepticism of all things alcohol industry. As we noted in last week’s BriePH (the regular briefing for Directors of Public Health), ADPH has a clear Ethical Collaboration and Sponsorship Policy which sets out that the ADPH ‘will not work with, or accept donations from, organisations whose activities, policies, aims or objectives contradict or are inconsistent with its own’ – this includes partnerships with organisations involved in tobacco or alcohol manufacture. We regard Drinkaware as being too close to the alcohol industry. ADPH remains a member of the Alcohol Leadership Board. But we believe partnering with Drinkaware as they currently stand is unethical.

Missing the value DsPH can bring

I’m sure many of us can tell our own stories of how ‘normalised’ high risk drinking is in our communities and boroughs.

Directors of Public Health recognise that nationally developed social marketing campaigns such as the ‘One You’ have their part to play – and many have adapted these locally. Linking the One You brand with the Drinkaware campaign – without DsPH having any input – may adversely affect these local efforts. And declaring the campaign is ‘where the people are’ forgets that DsPH work closely with elected members and local residents. To some of us, it’s unhelpful and galling.

There is much work to do to reduce the harm. Minimum Unit Pricing, Health as a 5th Licensing Objective, adequate funding of treatment and recovery services and a levy on alcohol driven business to support the cost to councils and police of keeping safe and clean town centres are all part of that. The ADPH is committed to working with, challenging and supporting partners in the public health system – including PHE – to make sure we unite behind efforts known to have impact.

Making measles history together: resource for local government

September 25, 2018 in ADPH Updates, Policies, Publications by Lucia Lucas

ADPH have endorsed PHE’s new measles guidance report for local government which was published on the 11th of September 2018.

Read the report here.

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Annual Review 2017-18

July 9, 2018 in Annual Reviews, Publications by admin

Annual Review 2017-18.

174 KBAnnual Review 2017-18

Four Nations Study – A comparative systems review and thematic policy analysis of public health across the four constituent countries of the UK

July 2, 2018 in ADPH Updates, Publications by Lucy Sutton

This research project has been completed on behalf of the ADPH by the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield, with support from the Health Foundation.

By developing an evidence-based public health systems framework, the report explores the similarities and differences between the public health systems in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales since national devolution to identify areas for shared learning. The framework was refined through systematic reviews of the public health systems overall and of an example area  ‘child development in the early years’.

We would like to hear your views on the report – Get in touch with Dr Amy Barnes at a.barnes@sheffield.ac.uk and tell us how these findings could be taken forward to inform policy and practice and how debate in and between nations can be promoted to create more opportunities to learn from each other?

2 MBFour Nations Study Report 2 MBFour Nations Study – Visual Summary [print] 2 MBFour Nations Study – Visual Summary [online]
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PHE / ADPH Summary Report: Development Needs of Recently Appointed Directors of Public Health

June 12, 2018 in Publications by admin

Working in partnership with Public Health England, ADPH has produced the report below on the experience of newly appointed DsPH.

As strengthening the pipeline for Directors is one of our organisational priorities, this report gives some valuable insight into the aspirations and frustrations that new DsPH experience. There is a great deal of good work that the report identifies.

The report gives helpful insight into areas where DsPH can be supported:

• For a significant number, the route to becoming a Director was through an interim or acting capacity. Therefore, support in the early period after appointment is critical.

• DsPH are the ambassadors for Public Health in local government. Several reflected that they needed more help to step into working at multi-discipline board level.

• The role of networks to support DsPH was reported to be invaluable. Much good work goes on, but provision of formal and informal networks is geographically variable and offers an opportunity to develop further.

365 KBPHE ADPH – Development Needs of Recently Appointed DsPH
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ADPH Policy Positions – A Life Course Approach to Public Health

May 18, 2018 in ADPH Updates, Children and Young People, Policies, Policy Statements, Publications by admin

ADPH has today published a series of new policy position statements setting out a life course approach to public health. These statements explore health and wellbeing at key life stages and cover best start in life, living and working well, healthy ageing, and health inequality.

Our policy position statements help to drive our policy work forward and push for our members’ recommendations in all the policy work that we do. They will be briefly reviewed annually and a full review will take place every three years.

611 KBADPH Position Statement – Best Start in Life 634 KBADPH Position Statement – Living and Working Well 613 KBADPH Position Statement – Healthy Ageing 579 KBADPH Position Statement – Health Inequalities

If you would like to discuss anything in these documents please do contact the ADPH Policy Team by emailing enquiries@adph.org.uk.

All of our policy positions are hosted permanently here.

 

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ADPH Impact Report – Summary

April 5, 2018 in ADPH Updates, Publications by admin

 

In summer 2017 ADPH commissioned Shared Intelligence to carry out research into the impact of the Association and to recommend ways in which its impact could be increased. You may view here some key notes of the main findings. ADPH have taken this feedback on board and are working towards implementation of an action plan to address these points.

The review focussed on assessing the ADPH’s impact in these three areas:

  • supporting DsPH in their role;
  • influencing the framework and context within which DsPH operate;
  • and influencing policy nationally on public health and health and wellbeing more widely.

The report is based on three sources of evidence: an online survey of DsPH in the membership of ADPH (61 responses were received); interviews with 12 senior stakeholders; and interview with 30 DsPH. An overview of the report was presented to the ADPH Board and at the ADPH Annual Conference in November and the final report also draws on these discussions.

 

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ADPH Sector-Led Improvement self-audit tool

March 22, 2018 in ADPH Updates, Publications, Sector Led Improvement by admin

ADPH is pleased to launch an SLI self-audit tool.

The tool is meant for the regional SLI leads, Network Chairs and Network Coordinators to help them assess their local SLI programme. The purpose of this self-audit tool is to help the SLI leads recognize network’s strengths and identify the areas of practice where there may be an opportunity to develop in the next phase. The tool can be used as part of a reflective conversation at one of the network meetings.

Local SLI programmes should provide confidence to both internal and external stakeholders and to the public as well as demonstrate continuous improvement to PH practice. In this way it will improve health outcomes and avoid top down inspection regimes. It should therefore provide demonstrable evaluation, challenge and measurement of improvement not merely increased learning and knowledge.