Skip to main content

Dr Justin Varney

Dr Justin Varney is the National Strategic Advisor on Health and Work at Public Health England.

Dr Varney leads our strategic approach to health, work and worklessness issues and our external and cross-government engagement in this area. He is also our expert advisor on LGBT inequalities as well as providing specialist public health advice to a range of topics and programmes.

Dr Varney has previously led a range of programmes across PHE including our work on physical activity, health and worklessness and workplace health as well as managing the teams leading our work on sexual, reproductive health and HIV prevention, community pharmacy and allied health professionals.

He works closely with colleagues in NHS England and the Civil Service Employment Policy Team to support the public sector to become an exemplar of employee health and wellbeing as well working to support the DWP/DH Joint Unit on Health and Work in their work to close the disability employment gap.

Dr Varney is PHE’s senior liaison for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and have developed and led much of our work to support the implementation of the Sport Strategy and working closely with colleagues in Sport England and Arts Council England towards our shared aim of getting everybody active every day. He has also represented PHE at the International Association of National Public Health Institutes, leading their collaboration to input to the WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity and represent them at the Scientific Technical Advisory Group at WHO.

Prior to joining Public Health England, Dr Varney was a Joint Deputy Director of Public Health in East London working between the Primary Care Trust and Local Authority. He trained in General Practice before specialising in Public Health Medicine and has worked across both primary and secondary care settings.

Justin has a special interest in lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans health inequalities and domestic violence as a public health issue. He has previously sat on the Board of several charities including the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence and the National LGBT Consortium of Voluntary Sector Organisations.

LGB&T health – celebrating with pride

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Health and Wellbeing, Health inequalities

This week London celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Pride, and across the country we’ll see Pride marches and celebrations that bring together LGB&T communities, their friends, families and allies. Pride marches are often a contentious subject and there are …

Improving health equality for gay, bisexual and other MSM – why now and how?

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Health and Wellbeing

It may be difficult for younger people to imagine our world less than fifty years ago, where people in the UK were criminalised for their sexual orientation. There has been major legislative reform for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) …

Why leisure industry professions are crucial in promoting active lifestyles

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Health and Wellbeing, Physical activity

How much difference can sport and leisure professionals make to our publics’ health?  The answer is a great deal. The evidence base that physical activity is good for your health grows every week. Recent papers have highlighted the role it can …

The health and wellbeing of BME MSM: minorities within minorities

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Health and Wellbeing

We often talk about inequalities and the protected characteristics like age, gender, sexual orientation, but it’s not often that we focus on how individuals with multiple minority identities can potentially experience compound discrimination. A white gay man, for example, may …