In the vaccinations arena we launched a paper looking at how flu vaccination rates can be improved. The recommendations made in the paper are based on the discussions from two roundtables hosted by RSPH with national and regional immunisation stakeholders, in addition to building on the outcomes from our recent report, Mind the Gap: London’s Low Flu Vaccination Rates and How to Fix Them. With high uptake of the flu vaccine critical this flu season as we face the additional burden of Covid-19 infections, the Health and Care Bill and re-organisation of the public health system in England presents an opportunity for Screening and Immunisation Teams to have their capacity increased to improve coverage.     

As ‘freedom day’ arrived in England this month we joined the Association of Directors of Public Health, the Charter Institute of Environmental Health, and the Faculty of Public Health in calling for caution as restrictions ease. Despite the end of social distancing measures Covid-19 still poses a threat to the population and as an independent public health body we urge the public to continue wearing masks and practicing targeted hygiene to protect themselves and others.  

With the gradual return to normality, including increased use of public transport, our Gambling Health Alliance wrote to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, calling for him to fulfil his manifesto pledge to remove gambling adverts from the Transport for London network. The Euros highlighted how interwoven football and gambling are, and the GHA plans to continue to push for further restrictions to gambling advertising. This month we also launched our Level 2 Award in Tackling Gambling-related Harms, developed with GHA members Beacon Counselling Trust and Ara. If you weren’t able to attend the webinar launching the qualification it will be available on our website shortly.

The highly anticipated Part 2 of the National Food Strategy launched in mid-July, and included many excellent recommendations for how we can overhaul the food system to improve human and planetary health. RSPH is particularly supportive of the proposal to create a sugar and salt tax given the success of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy in encouraging reformulation. You can read our response to the strategy here.

Finally, we joined the Chartered Institute of Environment Health, the Institute of Licensing, the UK Public Health Network, the Joint Council for Cosmetics Practitioners, and Save Face, in responding to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing’s report into the cosmetics industry. We support the recommendation of a national licensing scheme and a minimum qualification requirement for practitioners, echoing the calls we made in our Skins and Needles report. You can read our full response here.