Wider Public Health Workforce
With over 15 million workers including firefighters, hairdressers and postal workers, the wider workforce can support the public’s health in a variety of ways
9 out of 10
members of the public trust health and lifestyle advice from the wider workforce
Allied Health Professionals have around
client contacts every week
only 1 in 5
of the wider workforce measure their public health impact
Our areas of focus
RSPH is the home of the wider public health workforce. We chair the government-commissioned advisory group, 'People in UK Public Health', which aims to showcase best practice across the four devolved nations of the UK.
Along with the Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CFWI), we published Rethinking the public health workforce, which sets out who this workforce is comprised of, examples of best practice across a range of different professions and what measures can be put in place to make this workforce a reality.
Developing resources to support the wider workforce
We continue to develop support for the wider workforce, including our work with Public Health England to create tools to help professionals measure their public health impact better, such as impact pathways supporting our Everyday Interactions report which enable healthcare professionals within the wider workforce to better evidence their public health impact.
We recently developed the Emergency Services Hub with Public Health England and key partner organisations from across the services. It brings together a range of resources for the three emergency services (ambulance, fire and rescue, and police) with the aim of sharing information, best practice and cooperation around public health.
We also provide training including Improving the Public’s Health and Understanding Health Improvement which are useful resources to supporting the wider workforce in health promotion activities.
The vast majority of us live within a twenty-minute walk of a local pharmacy, and 95% of us visit one at least once a year. Community pharmacies, include Healthy Living Pharmacies (HLPs) which are commissioned to deliver a wide range of health improvement and protection services including flu vaccination, weight management and emergency hormonal contraception.
HLPs have in place dedicated and RSPH trained health champions from within the pharmacy team who can support health improvement initiatives. The HLP scheme now has over 2,000 pharmacies signed up, and we administer the national register.
Allied Health Professionals
Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) comprise 14 different professional groups ranging from physiotherapists to podiatrists and between them have around 4 million client contacts every week. There are a number of different ways AHPs can support the public’s health ranging from the provision of very brief advice to signposting to more specialist support.
Our report with Public Health England, Healthy Conversations and the Allied Health Professionals, set out the barriers and opportunities for this profession to support the public’s health.
Accredited Registers Workforce
There are around 80,000 people employed as part of the Accredited Registers Workforce – this includes counsellors, complimentary therapists and nutritionists, who have frequent contact with and enjoy trusted relationships with patients and clients.
Our current research aims to better understand how the Accredited Registers workforce can play a greater role in supporting their patients’ overall health and wellbeing, and we are undertaking research to better understand the role of this workforce and doing this in conjunction with the Professional Standards Authority, the regulator of the accredited registers workforce.