The Regional Unit heads up Agency teams working out of the Government Offices for the regions in England to strengthen links with FSA regional and local partners.
The Agency established these teams in each of the Government Offices for the East Midlands, North West, South East and South West in 2006. They represent four of the nine Regional Government Offices in England.
The teams, each comprising two staff, are a pilot and the Agency is waiting to see how successful these are before deciding whether or not to set up others in the remaining five regions.
An independent evaluation of the work of the regional teams was carried out by the University of Birmingham between October 2007 and March 2008. This was discussed at the FSA Board meeting in July 2008. Future roll out plans will be considered as part of a cost-benefit review of the current and alternative approaches to local and regional delivery, with a report back to the Board in early 2009.
See the July 2008 Board paper and the University of Birmingham’s full evaluation report at the links below, as well as a May 2007 update paper for the FSA Board about roll out plans and regional profiles.
The teams have three key aims:
- strengthening links with regional and local partners
- embedding key Agency messages
- improving local delivery of our strategic food safety and dietary health targets
The teams identify where regionally led activity will add value to current work at the national level to ensure the Agency’s key messages on healthy eating and food safety are reaching local businesses and consumers – something that is not so easy to do if staff were based entirely in FSA headquarters, London.
A significant amount of the teams' work is about forming effective partnerships at the regional and local level with any organisation with a food and health agenda. Some activities involve supporting environmental health and trading standards officers to work more effectively on FSA food safety and healthy eating priorities. But other key bodies include Department of Health Regional Public Health Groups, local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and local authority Health Promotion Units who also have an important food and health remit. As part of the Regional teams engagement with regional and local stakeholders, they attend and host partnership events and articles on these events are routinely published in the Agency's monthly newsletter, FSA News.
If you would like further information about which organisations the FSA works in partnership with in your area, please contact your Regional team via the link towards the end of this page.