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Duncan Selbie's Friday message – 20 Jan 2017

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Dear everyone

Today marks the inauguration of a new US President, and as we begin the transition to Brexit here in the UK, change is all around us.

Former Secretary of State for Health Stephen Dorrell has recently said that the pace of change is getting faster – and it will never be this slow again. As an organisation, how we approach and deal with change matters because it has a direct effect on the health and wellbeing of our people and how well we live up to the PHE People Charter.

Our recent staff survey showed that we have made significant progress in leading and managing change, with a 20% improvement in our score year on year. Despite this, 6 in 10 of our people believe we don't manage change well and many have provided feedback on what we can do differently, much of which is high impact and low cost.

Examples include eradicating inequalities in the provision of learning and development; listening more to staff views on how to make change happen; providing better guidance and practical support in how to manage change well; being clear on why changes are necessary as well as describing what we will seek to change.

George Bernard Shaw said that "progress is impossible without change"; and what matters is how we go about this for our people and over the next year we plan to go further and faster in getting better at this, and particularly at team level.

Over the past four years new cases of TB have dropped by 30%, which is great progress on the Collaborative TB Strategy for England. However the proportion of TB cases that have a social risk factor (for example homelessness, drug or alcohol misuse or imprisonment) increased from 9% in 2011 to 12% in 2015 and on Wednesday we published a new resource for TB Control Boards and their partners to tackle this, working in close partnership with TB Alert and NHS England. The ambition of the collaborative strategy is to eradicate TB as a public health problem from England and this will remain a priority for PHE and NHS England until achieved.

On Thursday last, PHE published new data on young people’s use of specialist substance misuse treatment services, alongside a review undertaken by The Children’s Society.

Encouragingly, the number of young people seeking treatment for problems with drugs and alcohol continues to decline. However, it is important to recognise the complex vulnerabilities experienced by this group and ensure that treatment services are effectively joined up with other young people’s health and social care services. The review recommendations should hopefully be of assistance for local authority commissioners.

With best wishes,

Friday messages from 2012-2016 are available on GOV.UK

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  1. Comment by Eamonn O'Moore posted on

    Great to see Duncan highlight the work on reducing TB among vulnerable and marginalised groups. Among this population are many with multiple complex needs across health and social care including homelessness, joblessness, lack of recourse to public funds, indebtedness and incarceration. This is a real health inequalities issues and TB control generally will not succeed if we are not successful in control infection in these under-served populations.

  2. Comment by Pete Taylor posted on

    Will the free text comments from the staff survey be made available to local teams to help them respond to the feedback on what can be changed?

    It's hard to see how the current policy of not sharing these comments with local teams fits with the People Charter commitments to being receptive to views, empowering each other and respecting colleagues.

  3. Comment by Bill von meyer posted on

    I believe it has been shown that the drug antabuse will help
    Antibiotics kill resistant strains