About The School
The North East has been innovative in its thinking in setting up the School of Public Health. Our health as a region is improving, but our life expectancy remains significantly below the average for England, despite having good quality health services. Tackling inequalities in health requires us to build on these good health services and extend them to ensure screening and early detection of problems. More importantly it requires us to work with people, organisations and communities to change their individual lifestyles. For this to happen effectively we need to engage with the social, environmental and economic factors that shape these lifestyles, not just the individuals themselves.
The strategy Better Health Fairer Health sets out the platform for the wide ranging programme of work this will require in the North East of England, and some early indicators are beginning to show success – for example our smoking is no longer the worst in the country.
A key component of making a practical difference is the skills, knowledge and attitude of the people involved on the ground, in communities, schools, businesses, universities and the media as well as the NHS, Local Authority and other parts of the public sector. The School of Public Health sets out an ambitious vision involving all of these groups. The purpose is to provide consistent information, guidance and skills to accelerate the improvement of health among people of the North East.
“Making Every Contact Count”.
What is the School? The School of Public Health is the vehicle to deliver the education and development of the broadly based workforce essential if we are to be successful in implementing Better Health, Fairer Health, using all elements of the Public Health System to contribute to the regional strategy for health improvement.
The School aims to build capacity in:
- Health improvement
- Health intelligence
- Health protection
- Health and social care quality
- Academic public health
- Evidence based practice.
The School Board includes the Regional Director of Public Health and brings together representatives from Primary Care, Health Education North East, the 5 Universities, the Association of North East Councils (ANEC), the Faculty of Public Health (FPH), Consultants and Specialists involved in leading education, Trainees, Building Public Health Futures, and Workforce Planning. A Programme Advisory Group has been set up also reporting to the Board, to oversee the implementation of the North East Leadership to Improve Health and Wellbeing programme over the next 3 years. The school is currently a virtual organisation with both commissioning and providing functions represented by its members at Board level. During 2009 the Northern Deanery has been re-shaped to reflect a split in Commissioning and providing functions. Accountability of the Head of School is to the Commissioning Dean in NHS Education North East; reporting also to the Regional Public Health Board and the Regional Advisory Group Prevention, Fair and Early Treatment one of the key themes within Better Health, Fairer Health.
The School of Public Health Board links with the following other key strategic groups in the North East.
- North East Public Health Board
- North East Transformational System (NETS)
- Regional Advisory Group Prevention, Fair and Early Treatment
- Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL4HealthNE)
- Institute of Health and Society (IHS)
- Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health
- Healthy Communities Learning Network.
- North East Public Health Observatory (NEPHO)
- Public Health Intelligence Network North East (PHINE)
- Health Protection Agency (HPA)
- North East Quality Observatory System.
A North East Health Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC) is currently being established, which aims to accelerate progress in innovation and education across the North East in order to drive up the quality of health care. This will during the next year be an important development which the School also needs to link with.