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Public Health Workforce Development, specialist training programme for health practitioners

LSBU developed and delivered specialised professional development masterclasses for 133 public health practitioners working in 23 London boroughs

London South Bank University (LSBU) has developed and delivered bespoke professional training masterclasses to 133 public health practitioners. The Public Health Workforce Development programme was commissioned by the London Borough of Croydon, on behalf of Public Health England.

Programme participants benefitted from being taught by LSBU’s expert teaching staff, who continuously undertake research to support their development and teaching. The masterclasses focussed on topics that are highly relevant to practitioners in today’s public health landscape, including community development, health impact assessment and evaluating public health.         

The need for this programme arose from the integration of the public health function from Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) to local authorities, which then needed to integrate with other local services, such as social care, education, environmental health and housing.

“These public health teams are staffed largely by ex-PCT employees who have spent most, if not all, of their careers working within the culture and systems of the NHS. These teams need skills to match the challenges faced by local authorities and to be able to influence beyond the boundaries of their team and profession,” explains Jane Wills, Professor of Health Promotion at LSBU.

Participants in the programme came from 23 of the 32 London boroughs. According to participant feedback, the course had a 98% positive satisfaction score, with 89% of practitioners saying the knowledge they gained would be useful to their work.

“The masterclasses met the development needs of this public health workforce despite practitioners’ differing levels of seniority and academic experience. Participants appreciated the opportunity to attend applied and focussed classes and welcomed the opportunity to work with members of other public health teams giving an improved understanding of London wide public health challenges,” says Professor Wills.

“This programme is another example of LSBU’s ability to design bespoke CPD to meet workforce needs, in this case to help staff face the challenges of working in a new environment and across organisational boundaries. With their long experience as educators, LSBU staff met the needs of those wishing to refresh their public health skills and knowledge, while also helping those who wished to progress their career,” says Peter Benson, Head of LSBU’s Health and Wellbeing Institute.

The Health and Wellbeing Institute connects organisations with LSBU’s expert knowledge, training and interdisciplinary research in a broad range of areas. The Institute currently works with over 60 NHS healthcare providers, making LSBU the largest provider of CPPD in London and the South East.

Find out more about workforce development at LSBU.