An introduction to Public Health

We're responsible for the health of people living, working, studying and visiting York. The Faculty of Public Health defines this as:

"The science and art of promoting and protecting health and wellbeing, preventing ill-health and prolonging life through the organised efforts of society."

Public Health Team

Our responsibility for public health is covered by all of our services and our front-line members of staff.

We also have a dedicated Public Health Team tasked with improving the health of the city's population, including:

  • Director of Public Health
  • Consultants in Public Health
  • Health Improvement managers and officers
  • Public Health Advisor (healthcare) and development officers
  • Health and Wellbeing Partnerships coordinator
  • Public Health apprentice
  • YorWellbeing officers

Areas of Public Health

There are 3 key areas:

  1. Health Improvement, which includes the impacts on health of:
    • inequality
    • education
    • housing
    • employment
    • family/community
    • lifestyle

  2. Healthcare, which includes activities such as:
    • clinical effectiveness
    • efficiency
    • health economics
    • service planning
    • audit and evaluation
    • clinical governance
    • equity

  3. Health Protection, which includes the health consequences of:
    • infectious diseases
    • screening
    • chemicals and poisons
    • radiation
    • emergency response
    • surveillance and monitoring of specific diseases and risk factors

For further information visit NHS Education for Scotland.

Our roles and responsibilities

The work of the Public Health team is driven by the Council Plan and the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for York, which is informed by the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

It covers a variety of areas, such as:

  • assessing the health impact of decision making around major developments, planning, open spaces, licensing and community projects
  • commission services such as the Stop Smoking Service , specialist Sexual Health services , Health Checks and Substance Misuse Services
  • transfering responsibility of school nursing and children’s health visiting services from the NHS to City of York Council as part of the Healthy Child Programme
  • the Health and Wellbeing Partnerships coordinator supporting the Health and Wellbeing Board
  • overseeing contact between residents and the Health Protection system related to screening programmes (such as for breast, colon and cervical cancer; and child development testing) and immunisation programmes (for children e.g. MMR; for adolescents e.g. Meningitis; and for adults e.g. flu and shingles)
  • YorWellbeing officers increasing physical activity levels of residents and encourage them to meet the recommended guidelines, including older people, young people and people with disabilities or medical conditions
  • providing sport and physical activity opportunities, mass participation programmes, local sports clubs, coach development programmes
  • working with voluntary, statutory and commercial sectors

Find out how we use your information in our Privacy Notice for Public Health.

Public Protection

Immediate and short-term Public Protection health issues are dealt with by our Environmental Health Team.

This includes:

Your GP and your health

Immediate and urgent risks to your health must be referred to your own doctor or General Practitioner (GP).

Also see

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