Not many of you will know my background – I came from a poor industrial down called Redcar, in North East England (and at that time a part of Yorkshire!). I remember well the payments made by the industries on our doorstep to the local families, including the ‘tights allowance’ that paid for the damage caused to the women’s tights by the air pollution! When I grew up, the sirens went off late each night to remind us all to close our windows as the “serious” discharges would begin from the various industrial towers around us.
As well as training in Public Health, I also trained in Clinical Genetics and feel fortunate to have received through both specialist roles an appreciation of the system(s) that impact on the health and wellbeing of the families I saw and worked with. A child with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, or a parent with Huntingtons Disease, or a 32 year old mother with bilateral breast cancer bring a crashing appreciation of the importance of great hospital provision, but equally importantly cross sector working, the development of meaningful and useful information, and the needs of individuals, families, schools, employees, social services etc.
I am proud to be one of the sponsors for the “Better Health Outcomes For All” strategy within the overarching “Achieving a Balance” programme of work. As an unusual (we can agree on that!) clinician with a very specialised, family-based expertise in clinical genetics, but also public health and management experience in a number of countries, I can see the huge importance of getting this right. I/we are fortunate that Dr Doone Winnard, and the other Public Health team members, can help us build on the considerable good work that has already been taken forward here in Counties. Our next steps are for Doone to lead a ‘review’, to give us a comprehensive picture of the current work, and then to develop recommendations for our future direction and work plan.
Together we will make sure you are kept up to date. It’s great to learn about the excellent work and skills already in place here in Counties. Thank you to Doone and her colleagues for taking us forward.