The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Monday, 22 July 2013

Scottish first for public health practitioner registration

A Health Promotion Officer in NHS Ayrshire & Arran has become the first public health practitioner in Scotland to have her professional registration with the UK Public Health Register (UKPHR) approved. 

Joanne Inglis (pictured above) was able to demonstrate key areas of practice in public health in order to attain the prestigious recognition of knowledge and skills.  

Public health practitioners play a key role in improving the health and wellbeing of the population. To make sure their work is safe and effective a pilot scheme to support public health practitioners apply for professional registration with the UKPHR was set up in February 2012. 

The scheme forms a partnership between four NHS Boards; NHS Ayrshire & Arran, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Highland and NHS Lanarkshire. The UKPHR is an independent regulator for public health practitioners in the UK and aims to protect the public by regulating professionals who work in public health.

Other medical professionals such as doctors, dentists, nurses and midwifes, and Allied Health Professionals all have to demonstrate they are safe to practice in their area of expertise. However, until recently, such a scheme for staff working as public health practitioners did not exist. The West of Scotland pilot Practitioner Registration Scheme was set up in response to this and to provide the opportunity for staff to work towards professional registration. 

Applicants have to evidence their work in four key areas of practice in public health:

* Professional and ethical practice (for example, continuously developing and improving practice in public health).
* Technical competence (for example, promoting the value of health and wellbeing and the reduction of inequalities).
* Application of public health competence (for example, working in partnership to plan and/or deliver programmes to improve health and wellbeing).
* Underpinning skills and knowledge (for example, supporting the implementation of policies and strategies to improve health and wellbeing).

Joanne’s portfolio which included pieces of work in relation to the green gym programme in North Ayrshire, physical activity in Ayrshire and Arran, and implementation of the Health Improving Care Establishments framework has been assessed as being in line with the standards required for staff working in this field. 

Dr Carol Davidson, Director of Public Health, commented: “Public health practitioners are a key part of the public health workforce and play a vital role in improving the health and wellbeing of our population. I am delighted that Joanne has been granted registration with the UKPHR which is a testament to her hard work and commitment. I would also like to thank the assessors and verifiers involved in the scheme for their support.”

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