Throughout World Immunisation Week (24th – 30th April), look out for our educational and engagement resources, which we’ll be sharing across our social media channels and website. We’ve created two great educational animations that explain the benefits of vaccinations and dispel misinformation around different types of vaccines. We want to hear your thoughts on vaccine uptake and awareness, so make sure to take part in our Twitter polls throughout the week – we would love as many people as possible to get involved. You can follow our World Immunisation Week updates on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages.

We’re really pleased to announce that we’ve launched the first in a series of exciting public health webinars. The new series, RSPH Sparks Debates, is kicking off with a webinar on Public Health and the State with Professor Christ Whitty, with an introduction from our Chief Executive, Christina Marriott. The webinar is taking place on the 12th May at 12 PM and you can register for a ticket on the webinar’s EventBrite page.

We’re passionate about helping to tackle the growing problem of childhood obesity – our research from a few years ago found that 1 in 5 children were leaving primary school obese. The UK has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in Europe, and lockdowns will likely have taken their toll on the activity levels and eating habits of the UK’s children. Our Chief Executive, Christina Marriott was recently on the Food Matters podcast, Table Talk, discussing this urgent public health issue. She was part of a panel that talked about what can be done to tackle the growing childhood obesity crisis and what roles different agencies play. You can listen to a recording of the episode here.

An update on our gambling work

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for our gambling policy work as we’ve been preparing for the Gambling Health Alliance (GHA) members’ meeting, which is happening at the end of April. The GHA will be discussing their reflections and response to the Gambling Act Review and planning out their actions for the rest of the year. Keep a lookout for an upcoming GHA consultation response on restricting the age of National Lottery advertising to reflect the new law that recently raised the age of buying a lottery ticket from 16 to 18.

We have also been progressing our project with Gambling with Lives, researching the harm caused by different gambling products. Gambling with Lives supports families who have been bereaved by gambling-related suicides and raise awareness of the dangerous effects of gambling on mental health and the high suicide risks. Look out for the outcome of the project this summer.

Things to look out for

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be speaking at a couple of conferences, including the include Gordon Homes Memorial and UKPHR conference and reflecting on the lessons learnt from COVID-19 and how we would like to see them applied to future public health systems. You may have seen the recent announcement of an Office for Health Promotion. We welcomed the announcement and outlined our hopes for what the Office can achieve, whilst also voicing our concerns over the lack of funding for the new Office. We are also responding to the consultation on transforming the public health system, which will take the new Office into account.

Following on from our Community Spirit report, we have been working with Walsall Council to make recommendations for how the town centre could better support health and wellbeing. We’ve been carrying out interviews with stakeholders to understand what steps the town can make to become healthier. 

We are continuing our vaccine awareness and education work, which includes the launch of two new vaccine projects.  The projects will look into how we can improve the UK’s vaccine system and the lessons we can learn from the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. The projects follow on from our Mind the Gap report, which looked at flu vaccination uptake levels in London and our polling into attitudes to the Covid-19 vaccine. We recently presented our vaccine projects and research to the Longevity Centre, a think tank specialising in the impact of longevity on society.

Finally, we’re working on the development of a digital tool for Allied Health Professional students who are looking for a public health placement. The new tool aims to make finding and listing an AHP student placement in a straightforward and engaging way. We’ve been collaborating with AHP leads on the project and are looking forward to being able to trial it very soon.