Health challenges and public health staffing in Harrow!

Having heard concerns about the adequacy of the public health staffing in the face of some challenging situations* in Harrow, we have obtained the staffing information under Freedom of Information.
The information is the summary of the total staff, including the public health practitioners, immediately after the public health transition into local authority on 1/4/13 and then on 1/4/15 as well as the predicted staffing level on 1/4/16 – both as numbers and the full time equivalent. Latest figures show a reduction in the total number of public health practitioners since 2013.
Public health practitioners are key members of the public health workforce and can have a great influence on the health and wellbeing of individuals, groups, communities and populations. They work across the full breadth of public health from health improvement and health protection, to health information, community development, and nutrition, in a wide range of settings from.
*

  • • life expectancy is 6.8 years lower for men and 4.2 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Harrow than in the least deprived areas
  • • incidents of TB are much higher than the national
  • • the infant mortality rate is worse
  • •25.2% of the population is under the age of twenty with 82.1% of school children coming from a black or minority ethnic group
  • • 21.2% of children aged under 16 years living in poverty
  • •the last inspection of health services for Harrow’s children in May 2012 of safeguarding and looked after children’s services found that health’s contribution to safeguarding was adequate and the Being Healthy delivery for looked-after children was inadequate (failing categories)
  • •May 2014 Review of Health Services for Children Looked After and Safeguarding in Harrow by Care Quality Commission found that the progress in delivering an improved service overall since the 2012 inspection is “disappointingly slow”
We would be interested to hear what the council is going to do to encourage and recruit more public health practitioners in Harrow to provide effective health care for all!