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Duncan Selbie's Friday message - 22 March 2019

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Dear everyone

This Sunday is World TB Day and PHE has today published data showing that cases of TB have fallen to the lowest level since records began. There has been an 8.4% fall in diagnosis between 2017 and 2018 and a drop of 43.6% since 2011. This is testament to the collaborative efforts of the NHS, local government, the third sector and PHE. We are making great strides but it is important to remember that TB is still affecting the most deprived people in our society and there is more to be done to reach the most vulnerable before TB can be eliminated, which is our ambition. The NHS Lincolnshire Tuberculosis Team, for example, is delivering TB nurse care from a car that is equipped to replicate the clinic setting in various locations, so that clinical and physical assessments, routine blood tests, sputum’s and weight can be taken without a visit to the hospital. The team also put a rapid response plan into action when they engage with a new patient to ensure they maintain contact and build trust as well as overcome barriers. This is public health in action.

To support high quality public health functions and services the national Public Health System Group has created the first high-level, system-wide commitment to quality in the form of a new framework - ‘Quality in Public Health: A Shared Responsibility.’ This was published this week at the Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Public Health joint conference. It aims to provide everyone who works in, commissions or make decisions about public health services with the key information they need to ensure high quality, meaningful outcomes stem from their work.

Our Health Economics Evidence Resource was first published in 2017 to help decision makers in local government make evidence-based investments. We have now updated this with an additional 100 interventions from a wide range of economics sources. This is an interactive, free resource and covers a range of public health priorities including sexual health, drug and alcohol misuse, obesity and smoking. More detail can be found in our blog.

In April a new CQUIN will be introduced by NHS England for screening and brief advice for tobacco and alcohol use in inpatient settings. This is the focus of our latest edition of Health Matters which explains how the CQUIN intends to complement and further encourage existing activity to deliver interventions such as advice and referrals to smokers and those who use alcohol at harmful levels. This is about making every contact count and you can see the full edition for more information.

Every day three people die in need of an organ because there are not enough available. From Spring 2020, the law on organ donation is changing and all adults will be considered as organ donors unless they choose to opt out or are in one of the excluded groups. It is important that everyone is aware and understands this change and the full information can be found via NHS Blood and Transplant.

And finally, 1 in 17 people will be affected by a rare disease at some point in their life and up to 1 in 50 babies are born with a congenital anomaly. PHE has now expanded our Congenital Anomaly and Rare Disease Registration Service to cover the whole population of England. Among many other things, this resource provides clinicians with information that supports high quality clinical practice and supports and empowers patients and their carers by providing information relevant to their disease or disorder. You can get more information on contacts for registration and annual statistics on our website.

Best wishes


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