The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Public Health England (PHE), an executive agency of the Department of Health, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase their co-operation across the public health system.
The CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health, providing accredited qualifications in health and safety, food safety, environmental protection, fire safety and first aid.
The new agreement gives official recognition by PHE to the unique part played by the environmental health profession in reducing social inequalities, improving public health and creating fairer communities.
In recent months the CIEH and PHE have worked together on guidance for health professionals on tattoo safety. The two bodies are currently working on a mapping toolkit for health and well-being.
Commenting on the agreement, Graham Jukes, the Chief Executive of CIEH said, “Our work underpins the very fabric of public health in this country but only becomes visible when there is a problem. We are starting to see those problems emerge as local authorities have been forced to cut environmental health positions with little protest from the public. In doing so, they reduce their capacity to effectively respond to real life-threatening problems and reduce their ability to respond to the growth agenda for business and the growing problem of health inequalities.”
He added, “This agreement will raise the profile of the profession in councils and their importance to maintaining health. It will ensure that our unique competency in public health is taken fully into account when councils design new structures and services to meet the communities’ needs that they serve.”