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Briefing from Caroline Tomes FFPH, Consultant in Public Health, Centre for Climate and Health Security, UKHSA

I’m delighted to share our User insights for a climate and health digital service briefing. We interviewed local authority public health professionals to better understand current practice and their perspectives of working on climate change and health.

These interview-derived insights include:

  1. Challenges include being time-poor, competing priorities, limited funding, low subject matter confidence, and translating information to local contexts.
  2. Wide and varied remits mean users need to know ‘enough’ rather than ‘everything.’ Having the correct degree of information and connections in place is more important.
  3. Climate change and health feels like a box-ticking exercise, rather than a way of working.
  4. Case studies from other Authorities was perceived as useful, time saving, especially avoiding duplication of effort. Users often rely on unified thinking and activities across Authorities.
  5. Evidence is most useful when it reflects long term issues, is flexible to suit local levels, and discusses additional impacts (such as on wellbeing and mental health).
  6. Part of the perceived role of Local Authority Public Health professionals involves promoting the message that climate change is everyone’s concern, there are challenges and opportunities, and ensuring integration into all activities.
  7. There is a perceived imbalance of evidence focused on Net-Zero initiatives, leaving climate and health outcomes relatively unknown.
  8. Climate change issues are seen as a problem for the future in comparison to matters urgently affecting people, causing them to become deprioritised and hidden.
  9. Policy direction would be at its most helpful if the evidence is aligned with local-level plans and with the climate and health prevention explained.


These results aligns with findings from other recent research (such as van Hove, Davey and Gopfert’s 2024 qualitative study exploring the role of public health professionals in this space), and will inform the development of digital products and wider support services being developed, including a UKHSA climate change and health digital service (hopefully, a Very Useful Website!).


I also wanted to reach out to anyone who is considering a bid for NIHR funded call: What are the impacts of local authority led interventions aimed at climate change mitigation and/or adaptation on health and inequalities? See here a summary of research areas we are keen to support – so if you are a Local Authority who is preparing a bid and would like to explore whether support from CCHS would be helpful, please get in touch via


I also wanted to highlight the Local Climate Adaptation Tool which launched this week. This interactive, visual tool allows you to explore how local climates will change, what health and community impacts may occur, who is most vulnerable and which adaptations to consider – informed by the scientific research.


Further Knowledge Mobilisation products we are working on include:

  • Workshop: Data, metrics and Health Equity (5th March – fully booked)
  • Pragmatic toolkits to consider the implications of the Health Effects of Climate Change report, for different workforce groups (coming soon – Regional Health Protection Teams)
  • Quarterly Workshops (online and to be recorded); topics include VBDs, Communications, Health Equity
  • Research: how is mapping data on flooding, heat and vulnerabilities used in Local Authorities?
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