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Public Health

The Directorate of Public Health East Midlands brings together the public health teams from the Department of Health's regional presence (based at the Government Office for the East Midlands) and NHS East Midlands under the Regional Director of Public Health, Dr David Walker.

Public health works across communities and populations rather than at the level of the individual. It emphasises collective responsibility for health, its protection and disease prevention. Key to this is the recognition of the key role of the state, linked to a concern for the underlying socio-economic and wider determinants of health, as well as disease. Partnership working with all those who contribute to the health of the population is a main aim of public health action at all levels – nationally, regionally and locally. More information on the national picture

The Directorate's primary role is to improve and protect the health of the population of the East Midlands by increasing life expectancy, reducing health inequalities, improving well-being and contributing to improved clinical quality, patient safety and publicly-funded health and social care services.

Although the East Midlands is a good place to live and work, the region has high rates of road deaths and injuries and above average levels of obesity, particularly among females.

There are also significant health inequalities in the East Midlands:

  • A boy born in Nottingham can expect to live six years less than a boy born in Rutland and a girl born in Leicester can expect to live 4.6 years less than a girl born in Rutland
  • Boston has the highest levels of obesity
  • All 'Spearhead' (i.e. highly deprived) local authorities in the East Midlands have high proportions of smokers
  • Teenage pregnancy rates in Nottingham, Corby, Lincoln and Leicester are unacceptably high
  • Corby, Lincoln and Nottingham have some of the highest rates of alcohol-related deaths in England

The latest Annual Report of the Regional Director of Public Health for the East Midlands provides a useful summary of current levels of morbidity, mortality and risk factors and trends over the last decade.

The Directorate of Public Health East Midlands supports the regional health improvement and protection agenda through:

  • Leadership and collaborative working for health – working closely with other NHS East Midlands Directorates, the Department of Health, Government Office for the East Midlands, the regional Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) and other regional partners
  • integrating health improvement activity in local planning and delivery mechanisms, especially Local Area Agreements
  • tackling inequalities through influencing and advising, and carrying out health impact assessments on cross-Government policies in the region and promoting priorities and programmes that help to deliver cross-Government and NHS goals
  • Surveillance and assessment of population health and well-being – joint working with the East Midlands Public Health Observatory and Health Protection Agency to track trends and report on performance
  • identify regional issues that may need a national policy response, assessing and keeping under surveillance all public health issues and needs
  • Policy and strategy development and implementation – using public health knowledge and skills to interpret and influence national health and social policy, ensuring implementation through performance management of and by local commissioners and support for health and social care providers
  • Building public health capacity, providing public health leadership, brokering support for local action and encouraging cross-learning and development

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 List item 1  East of England
 List item 2  Yorkshire and The Humber
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