The public health wider workforce is difficult to categorise and define, and there are differing opinions on which professions and jobs can, or should, be included.
Let’s start with a general definition of the wider workforce being made up of those who may undertake the promotion of public health as part of their role, but not as the primary function of their role. This might include GPs, pharmacists, midwives, trading standards officers and leisure centre staff. It is clear that individuals working in these professions have an important contribution to make in delivering health and wellbeing advice.
Then let’s expand on that with the Department of Health’s white paper published in 2010 which states
that public health is ‘everyone’s business’.Suddenly the definition becomes much wider, encompassing the multitude of jobs, roles and professions within our local communities across the public, private and voluntary sectors. This message means that everyone has a part to play in delivering health and wellbeing information, and that the wider workforce is an integral part of this new public health landscape.
The Network is committed to engaging with our local public health wider workforce; identifying those who know they are part of it, think they might be part of it, or who are not yet aware of how their role might link with public health; providing information on public health skills and knowledge, developing CPD opportunities, and links with the core PH workforce.
We held two workshop events in 2017,inviting colleagues from across the wider workforce to contribute to the development of the Network and website, as we prepared to merge the AGW and Peninsula networks into a single South West wide resource.
We have worked with a number of different partners to provide shared learning events on topics such as:
- Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)
- Oral Health & Dementia
- Police & Public Health
- The Impact of Scams and Fraud on Health & Wellbeing
- Planning and Public Health
Keep an eye out for future CPD and shared learning events which are relevant to all those working across the public health system!
For more information on defining the public health wider workforce, see the Department of Health’s document: Healthy Lives, Healthy People: our strategy for public health in England and the Royal Society for Public Health’s documents on Rethinking the Public Health Workforce.