There is no question that 2020 has been a particularly eventful, and perhaps watershed year for Public Health. The past few months have certainly been a turbulent time. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on people’s lives and brought the stark health inequalities that are prevalent across the UK to the fore. We recognise that now, more than ever, there is a need for championing engaging and effective public health initiatives and resources.

While it is difficult to imagine what life was like pre-Covid-19, RSPH has recently published our Annual Report for 2019. This was another impactful and exciting year for the charity, including developing new place-based programmes, continuing our campaigning and policy work and  providing a wide range of educational and training to support those working to improve and protect the public’s health.

We’re excited to build on our achievements from 2019 and continue to work towards our mission, so that everyone has the opportunity to optimise their health and wellbeing. 

Our highlights from 2019 include:

  • Qualifications and education – Around 40,000 people took an RSPH qualification and 16,000 people accessed our educational eLearning courses and we saw the launch of a range of new qualifications in areas such as Infection Prevention and Control to support people offering special procedures such as tattoos, and piercings.  We also launched a new Level 3 Diploma in Community Health & Wellbeing, which is aimed at professionals such as Link Workers and those involved in social prescribing.
  • Community engagement – Over 300 people took our qualification to become a Young Health Champion. Our Young Health Champions programme helps to inspire the next generation of public health professionals and encourages young people to educate their peers about pressing health and wellbeing issues. Our ‘Communities in Charge of Alcohol…’ programme trained over 120 people to become Alcohol Health Champions across Greater Manchester, helping them to take the lead on encouraging healthy approaches to alcohol in their communities.
  • Creating healthier environments – We launched the world’s first supermarket designed and developed by Public Health experts! Our blueprint for a healthy supermarket, Nudge @ The People’s Supermarket, was rolled out in the summer of 2019 in Central London and supported by our Corporate Partner, Slimming World. This was accompanied by a report outlining our recommendations as to how retailers could make food shopping healthier for the public.
  • Policy and campaigning – We published our report exploring attitudes to vaccinations, ‘Moving the Needle’, which has now led to us developing and piloting resources aimed at educating primary and secondary school children on the need for vaccinations and dispelling misinformation.
  • Social media – We created a new eLearning programme, ‘Looking after your self-ie’, to help the public develop healthy ways to engage with social media. It has been our most successful eLearning course to date, with over 6,000 people taking part in the programme.

RSPH Chair of Council, Dr Nigel Carter, OBE said:

“During 2019, we continued to make a significant impact across the many different areas in which we operate. Our membership continues to thrive, supported by Special Interest Groups, and new partnerships with corporates and universities. We also continue to have an impact across the UK and internationally – from locally delivered programmes in places such as Greater Manchester and the West Midlands, to launching international adaptations of our award-winning campaigns in the USA and New Zealand.

“There has never been a greater need to support the public’s health and we thank all of our supporters, partners, members, centres and dedicated staff for helping us to achieve our mission.”