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Duncan Selbie's Friday message - 16 November 2018

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Dear everyone

We have been progressing our plans to work closer with NHS England and NHS Improvement which was the key recommendation from our international peer review in late 2017. Today NHSE and NHSI are publishing their plans to create seven integrated regional management teams for England and each of these will have a PHE provided Director of Public Health. This will be a part-time role and additional to the work of Local Authority Directors of Public Health with their local NHS (Integrated Care Systems, Clinical Commissioning Groups and providers). We look forward to working with the new NHS regional directors also announced today. We are not changing our structure to make this happen and will remain as focused as ever on our support for local government and place based leadership. The future for health and care is integration between local statutory services focused on outcomes that matter to people and on prevention over cure recognising that the money we have has to be spent more wisely than hitherto. It is in everyone’s interest to have public health back on the leadership teams of the NHS encouraging and supporting this.

Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, as long-term exposure can cause conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and lung cancer. Our latest edition of Health Matters, published on Wednesday, focuses on this and the current and future outlook including NHS and social care costs. It also covers the actions that local government, healthcare professionals and the public can take to improve air quality. Read the full edition and blog to find out more.

Winter is almost upon us and many people say they are not confident about which NHS services they should be using and when, with just over half saying they are unsure when they should visit a pharmacist instead of their GP. To help address this, PHE and NHS England have launched the ‘Help Us, Help You’ marketing campaign, which began on Monday, explaining  how people can stay well, get the right advice that they need, or prevent an illness getting worse.

Every child deserves the best start and families deserve the right support to help them create stimulating, nurturing and learning-rich environments for their children. This week, the Department for Education launched their Chat, Play, Read campaign to help more children develop the skills they need to reach their full potential and as part of this, PHE will be leading on the development of additional training for health visitors to support speech, language and communication.

And finally, I would like to thank colleagues in the South West who have developed three videos for World Antibiotic Awareness Week, aimed at raising awareness amongst children about the spread of germs and what they can do to prevent them.

Best wishes


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