History of the Royal Society for Public Health

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is the longest-established public health organisation in the UK. It is incorporated by Royal Charter and its patron is His Majesty The King, Charles III.

His Majesty became our Patron in May 2024. The late Queen Elizabeth II was the Patron of RSPH until she passed away in September 2022.

Through its Policy Work, Membership Community, Qualifications, Training and Accreditation services, the RSPH educates, empowers and supports communities and individuals to live healthily.

The RSPH was formed in October 2008 through the merger of the Royal Society of Health (RSH) and the Royal Institute of Public Health (RIPH).

Royal Society of Health (RSH)

The RSH, also known as the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, was established in 1876 following the landmark Public Health Act of 1875.  Previously known as the Sanitary Institute (1876-1904) and the Royal Sanitary Institute (1904–55), it was created during a period of great change within the areas of public health provision and sanitary reform to which it contributed significantly.

Royal Institute of Public Health (RIPH)

The RIPH’s origins date back to 1856 and the setting up of The Public Health Medical Society.  In 1892, the society was incorporated as the British Institute of Public Health, and in 1897 when Queen Victoria became the patron, the name was changed to Royal Institute of Public Health. In 1937, it merged with the Institute of Hygiene (established in 1903).