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Duncan Selbie's Friday message – 24 Feb 2017

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Dear everyone

On Thursday we published our response to the 200 submissions received during our recent consultation on the redesign of the National Infection Service (NIS).

Since NIS launched in June 2015 we have been engaging with staff and keeping our stakeholders informed on the emerging model for the service, to ensure it stays at the forefront of public health science, providing scientific leadership and high quality services.

The future NIS structure will reflect six services and six cross-cutting functions. Recruitment to the leadership posts for each of these will start as soon as possible and the new ways of working will be introduced over the coming months.  We will do everything we can to ensure a smooth transformation and to continue strengthening the quality of our work on infectious disease, which is recognised and acknowledged around the world.

Last week we launched a new campaign in the North West to highlight the dangers of taking antibiotics when you don’t need them and to trust in your doctor’s advice. It is estimated that 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections, and our campaign shows how unchecked antibiotic resistance will see common infections, minor injuries and routine operations become far riskier. The North West was chosen as the pilot as they have a high prescribing rate, and we will use the results to assess whether this should be rolled out across the country.

On Tuesday, the Local Government Association published a new set of case studies to provide local areas with examples of good practice and practical insight to support their work on suicide prevention. Alongside the resources that PHE and our partners have produced, they provide a further helpful impetus to build on the good work that local authorities are already doing to drive down suicide rates. I look forward to speaking at our final suicide prevention masterclass next week – these have been held in every region of England with more than 630 attendees from local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, health and justice teams and the voluntary sector.

Also last week we co-hosted the first workshop of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) training partners with the World Health Organization. Participants from 20 public health institutions from across the world came together to develop a coordinated programme that will prepare highly-trained rapid responders for successful deployment, as part of multidisciplinary international GOARN response teams. This programme is aimed at qualified staff in international partner institutions and will help prepare the world to meet the challenges of the next major global outbreak.

Health Check 2017, an annual review of progress on developing a sustainable health and care system in England, shows that PHE continues to be one of the leading organisations in ensuring that our health system is sustainable: environmentally, socially, and financially. This year we have achieved a 2.6% carbon reduction and our Sustainability and Climate Change Programme Board continues to coordinate our science, preparation and response associated with sustainable development and climate change. The 44 NHS sustainability and transformation plans offer a further opportunity to influence the local implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the NHS, public health and social care. An ambassadorial leadership programme is being piloted in the South of England to address these important local opportunities.

And finally, CATRIN, the Welsh version of PHE’s award-winning National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service in England, is now live for the whole of Wales, meaning national data on cancer is now seamlessly collected and quality assured across both countries. This marks the culmination of a true cross-border collaboration and patients are already seeing the benefits. On the first day we were able to link an English patient with historical data from their Welsh relatives collected in the late 1990s.

With best wishes,

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

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