The goal of public health in Northumberland is to improve and protect our residents' health and wellbeing, and improve the health of the poorest quickly.
How are you? health quiz
What do we do?
The public health team at Northumberland County Council is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the residents of Northumberland and reducing the inequalities in health that exist within and between communities.
The public health team in Northumberland work to raise awareness to support healthy lifestyles.
The key aims of public health are:
- to increase healthy life expectancy in our residents through focusing on health quality as well as the length of life
- to increase equity in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy between communities through achieving bigger improvements in our more disadvantaged communities
Public health commissions a range health and wellbeing services covering a range of policy areas including:
A full list of the functions and responsibilities can be found here
- tobacco control
- healthy eating
- physical activity
- alcohol harm prevention
- integrated community sexual health services
- long acting reversible contraception in primary care
- mental wellbeing
- NHS health check assessment
- Healthy Child Programme 0-19 years
- specialist drug and alcohol services
Public health also works to achieve the following:
- Health protection: The team’s projects include assurance around immunisations and screening, sexual health and contraception, children’s public health and health emergency planning.
- Population health: specialist research and intelligence, which includes health needs assessments (HNA), joint strategic needs assessment, health impact assessment (HIA), service reviews, healthcare public health advice and evidence-based briefings.
- Wider determinants: working to address the social determinants of health which impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities, and are they key cause of health inequalities.
Public health works closely with national organisations such as NHS England and Public Health England.
A New Way of Working
The Being Well Café – A Community Conversation
People living in and around Berwick were invited to come to the Swan Centre in August 2015 to participate in a community conversation about being well. The event was called The Being Well Café and its aim was to:
- meet people from the area
- find out what is important to local people
- identify community strengths and assets
- help people connect to support and resources.
The Public Health Team plan to invite residents from other localities in the county to similar events in the future. Please click here to read the report from the Cafe
Wider determinants of health
Health isn’t just affected by lifestyle choices but by a range of other factors including working conditions, housing, employment, education and access to quality healthcare services.
Below are a number of topic-based briefings which help make the link to public health:
Healthy Living Pharmacies
Pharmacies play an important role in reducing health inequalities through delivering high-quality health and wellbeing services. The Healthy Living Pharmacy initiative encourages pharmacies to promote health and wellbeing messages and engage with their local community.
Healthy Living Pharmacies are required to have a minimum of one healthy living champion trained in Royal Society of Public Health level two: Understanding Health Improvement. As well as this, pharmacies must have an individual in a leadership/management position who is willing to undertake training to support the development of the pharmacy.
If your pharmacy wishes to become a Healthy Living Pharmacy, please contact David Turnbull on 01670 625527 or email David.Turnbull@northumberland.gov.uk
Work place health
The council is committed to improving the health of its workforce as they understand that happier, healthier employees are at the heart of our future plans. Public health commissions the Better Health at Work Award and is also supporting Northumberland County Council (NCC) to progress its own work on this scheme from the Gold Award to Continuing Excellence. The main targets for the organisation are:
- to continue to deliver health campaigns based around physical activity, cancer awareness, alcohol, working wisely and mental health and wellbeing
- to provide a mentoring role to businesses on lower levels of the awards. NCC has chosen to mentor Healthy Living Pharmacies at the bronze level of the award.
- to maintain the strong network of health advocates NCC has built up since initiation of the Healthier Together workplace strategy
- to ensure health topics are promoted in the wider community and families of the workforce
Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment
A pharmaceutical needs assessment (PNA) describes the health needs of the population, current pharmaceutical services provision and any gaps in that provision. It also identifies potential new services to meet health needs and help achieve the objectives of the strategic plan, while taking account of financial constraints.
The Northumberland Health and Wellbeing Board is required to publish a pharmaceutical needs assessment (PNA) for the county. View the most recent version here.
Due to a change in circumstances, we are currently re-assessing the need for pharmaceutical services in Northumberland and will publish our findings in due course.
All Local Authorities have a duty to improve the health of the population they serve. To help with this, we use data and information from a range of sources including hospitals to understand more about the nature and causes of disease and ill-health in the area.