The Postgraduate School of Public Health (PHS) oversee the placement of trainees, and providing they feel that the quality of the experience is good, trainees can arrange to be appropriately seconded to other locations.
The Faculty of Public Health also approves some posts outside the United Kingdom for training purposes. It is possible for SpRs/SpTs to apply to rotate from the West Midlands Training Scheme to a national or overseas post once they have passed Part B MFPH.
Prior to April 2013, the function of Public Health was within the NHS and public health teams worked within Primary Care Trust (large regional health service organisations). With the introduction of the new Health and Social Care Act, public health has now moved from the NHS and into Local Authority control, although several public health function still remain with the NHS as part of the Public Health England organisation.
With the Local Authority, Public Health has five specific duties which are legally required to be to be carried out (so called, mandatory functions):
1. Appropriate access to sexual health services
2. Ensuring there are plans in place to protect the health of the population, including immunisation and screening plans
3. Ensuring NHS commissioners (Clinical Commissioning Groups-CCGs) receive the public health advice they need
4. The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)
5. NHS Health Check assessment.
There are also a number for “non-mandatory” functions of public health within local authorities, such as the delivery of nationally agreed outcomes set by the Department of Health, called the Public Health Outcomes Framework. Additionally, public health also works with other local authority departments to address the health and well-being needs of the local population, for example within Children’s Services, Housing, and Regulation etc. and most of the Public Health outcomes will be delivered through or with others, both within the council and by working with external organisations
The Local Government Association produced a Guide for Public Health Staff moving over to the local authority.
Academic Placements and Training
An academic opportunities are available at Warwick Uniersity, Birmingham University including the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC) and the General Practice (Primary Care) Department at Birmingham University. There are also joint academic secondments available at Wolverhampton and Keele Universities. Further information is available by following this link:
Trainees will generally spend most of their training up to CCT or equivalent level in PCTs, but there are also a variety of more specialised attachments within the West Midlands and elsewhere which can be considered usually after passing Part A and B MFPH. Trainees can spend time at the Regional Government Office and the Public Health Observatory in Birmingham. The role of the public health department there is to take forward public health at a regional level and oversee Health Protection in the in Region. There are also opportunities within the academic Department of Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Birmingham. The specialised places here include:
- The Aggressive Research Intelligence Facility (ARIF) whose role is to provide the best research evidence to health care professionals within health authorities and general practice and hospitals.
- The Horizon Scanning department which aims to evaluate emerging health technologies at an early stage.
- WMHTAC - West Midlands Health Technology Assessment Collaboration
Senior trainees can also, if appropriate, for their training needs consider placements at national specialised training placements e.g. Department of Health.
Health Protection Training
All trainees undergo a 3-4 month placement in Heslth Protection after they have passed the Part A exam. Placements exist for general Health Protection training in each of the three Health Protection Agency Units in the region. Trainees should contact their relevant unit to book their place.
SpRs/SpTs may also take up placements out of the region (post part B) e.g. with the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC) in London and the four three month specialised health protection placements within the West Midlands.
The training policy for Health Protection placements is available by clicking below:
Health Protection Training Policy