Putting the 'public' back into public health
The event, entitled 'Putting the 'public' back into public health' is being organised by Health Together, part of the University's Institute for Health and Wellbeing. The day will bring together public health commissioners, councillors, academics and volunteers to debate how the experience of the public can be built into the evidence needed for commissioning public health activities.
Judy White, Director of Health Together at Leeds Met, commented: "Our primary aim is to bring our knowledge from research to work with practice and this conference will bring together public health practitioners to engage in this important and timely debate."
"Now that public health provision has been moved back into local authorities, it is a good time to gather new and different views on whether or not change is needed in the way that we gather the 'evidence' about what activities work and what is to be commissioned. Working more closely with local councillors and GPs could mean a shift to being more open to hearing what members of the public have to say."
Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence, NICE, who is speaking at the event, added: "As local authorities take on the responsibility for public health, some of the ways we have traditionally thought about the relationships between providers of services and service users is being revised. This important conference offers the opportunity to debate the role of the public, the role of evidence, what counts as evidence, and how best to improve the health of the population."
Speakers at the conference, to be held at the Rose Bowl, also include Olivia Butterworth and Dr Pritti Mehta from NHS England, Alyson McGregor, Director of Altogether Better, Hanif Malik, Chief Executive of the Hamara Centre, plus academics from Leeds Metropolitan University, Durham University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Questions being tackled will include: what 'evidence' do local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and health and wellbeing boards actually need? How can the experience of citizens be included? What are the challenges of doing this? Is a new model of evidence needed that puts the experience of citizens at its heart?
The core team of Health Together are all part of the Institute for Health and Wellbeing at Leeds Metropolitan University and believes in the power of active citizens to improve health and wellbeing and help tackle inequalities. The team has developed successful programmes and policies, conducted numerous research and evaluation projects and conducted large-scale reviews of evidence and knowledge on what really is effective.