The Plimsoll award in public health goes to…..

10 February is Plimsoll Day. You might think this is a day for celebrating gym shoes – you know, the rubber-soled shoes where your feet stay dry as long as water does not come above the line of the sole. But did you know that plimsolls acquired their name because of the resemblance to the … Continued

Health system funding: where would you put the money?

Health and care systems across the globe are under pressure. New technology and treatments create supplier induced demand. Consumer expectations and increasing numbers of people living with non-communicable disease only add to this demand. Health inequalities in countries like the United States[i] and England[ii] are widening. So where would you put any extra money to make a … Continued

What’s in a name? A call to reframe non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

The debate opened up through the article by Allen and Freigl (Lancet, February 2017 and July 2017) is timely and welcomed. This has been an on going challenge for those working on NCD prevention and one that has not been fully addressed or resolved. This is probably because it is not possible, given the broad scope of NCDs … Continued

At the table or on the menu? Public health and trade negotiations

The quote from the American public health speaker and writer Midy Aponte “If you don’t have a seat at the table, bring your own chair” brings to mind one of the Just William stories. William and his friends meet as usual in the old barn in high spirits, which fall very quickly on seeing that the tempestuous … Continued

Looking to the future for the UK’s public health workforce

Members of the UK Public Health Network are all too aware of the challenges to the public’s health which have changed markedly over the last few decades. The significant growth in a range of health problems related to smoking, alcohol and drug misuse, obesity and physical inactivity alongside threats from new infectious diseases makes it … Continued

Collaborating not colliding: early impacts of the UK Public Health Network

I like dictionaries don’t you? Their definitions are so, well, definite. Take the word ‘impact’ for instance. The Oxford English Dictionary says it is “the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.” The Cambridge English Dictionary says it is “a powerful effect that something, especially something new, has on a situation or … Continued

Lifestyle: a plea to abandon the use of this word in public health

I am becoming increasingly concerned at the widespread and unquestioning use of the term “lifestyle” in public health I believe the term lifestyle or lifestyle factors should be completely abandoned by public health professionals. It frames public health at an individual level – effectively blaming individuals for making irrational decisions that are detrimental to their … Continued