RSPH hosted a panel discussion webinar to discuss insight from our engagement with the wider public health workforce, and to understand the key issues affecting this sector of the workforce – including career development and recognition – and the solutions.
6 points from the discussion:
1) Recognition and promotion
- It is important that the wider public health workforce promotes themselves, to raise awareness of the benefits they bring to support healthy populations. Communities of Practice sessions that are available are in local areas are a good way to seek good practice, share your own learning and promote the wider workforce. Organisations and individuals with a public health voice are also essential in recognising and promoting the wider Public Health workforce, including RSPH, Faculty of Public Health (FPH), Office for Health Improvements and Disparities (OHID) and NHS England.
2) The role of leadership
- Public Health leaders have an important role in recognising, championing and supporting the wider public health workforce to develop, alongside encouraging collaboration with the core public health workforce. Leadership within the wider public health workforce is also significant to identify and promote their role in public health.
3) Visible and structured routes into public health
- People enter public health in a variety of ways, including through working with local government, businesses, charities and public health organisations. Visible and accessible avenues into public health are important to allow those who are passionate about public health and have identified (or are supported to identify) where their skills or interests can be utilised.
- Structured career paths are essential to help people to identify that they can contribute to public health in a way that results in a rewarding and long-term career that makes an impact.
4) Education pathways and training
- Alongside encouraging people to consider how they can contribute to public health, high quality training, qualifications and skills which are transferable between settings, will support the growth and impact of the wider workforce. Universally recognised credentials are important in demonstrating the public health expertise of people working in these settings.
- In 2024 RSPH will launch sustainable educational pathways for the wider public health workforce which will support the development of future leaders, and provide a skilled workforce to support the delivery of public health services from the ground up.
- Routes into public health, and building up knowledge and networks can be challenging. It can be helpful to tap into networks of people working across public health to share practice, career advice and support people in similar situations.
- Possible Networks: 1) NHS Muslim Women’s Network 2) The Provider Public Health Network. 3) Allied Health Proffessionals (AHP). 4) RSPH Careers hub. 5) Health and Care Women Leaders Network. 6) AHPs4PH. 7) BME Leadership Network. 8) Health and Care LGBTQ+ Leaders Network.
6) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
- The wider public health workforce delivers services to diverse communities across the UK and everybody has a role to play in supporting, encouraging and promoting an equity focused and inclusive approach which tackles the impact of inequalities on health. We know that this wider workforce want to carry on delivering to those communities.
- The principles and practice of equality, diversity and inclusion are crucial in the development of the wider public health workforce to ensure that this workforce is diverse and representative of the communities they work with.