Archive for November, 2020

Do you influence the way resources are allocated by Public Health in the NHS and Government?

Are you up to speed with the answers to the following questions?

  • What guidance would you use when procuring goods and services?
  • What are the main sources of emissions in the NHS?
  • Describe four potential areas for action to reduce NHS carbon emissions

Check your knowledge and reflect on your actions as Public Health professionals by reading the latest resources available on the Faculty of Public Health website as follows:

Resource K9 – The NHS: Carbon Footprint

Resource A9 – Towards a Net-Zero Carbon NHS

Resource A7 – Sustainable Planning, Procurement and Commissioning

The resources will help you to deliver better services, complete your Public Health competencies and reflect on the contribution you can make to the Government aim of reaching net zero carbon emissions targets by 2050 in England and 2045 in Scotland.  Check them out at the Faculty of Public Health website here .

Thanks very much to members of the FPH Sustainable Development Special Interest Group and to Jenny Griffiths as editor in chief and all authors for their contributions to these resources.

Helen Ross
Chair FPH Sustainable Development SIG

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Like other SIGs, the FPH Film SIG was caught off guard by the COVID pandemic. At the end of 2019, members of the SIG had been working with the British Council and UCL to screen films on children health at its first event in India. However strict lockdown measures quickly put paid to live film screenings and opened up a unique opportunity to collaborate with the Public Health Film Society (PHFS), the Government of India and the American Public Health Association (APHA) to collect stories of the pandemic told through film.

With the support of FPH President, Maggie Rae, we helped launch the International Public Health Film Competition 2020, only 46 days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the COVID-19 pandemic on 20th April 2020.

In total 1746 films from 112 different countries were gathered through the film competition, of which over 440 films were specifically related to COVID. It was incredible to see film-makers rising to the challenge of telling stories about the pandemic despite the many hurdles to film production during the lockdown. The FPH recognised this challenge and offered to sponsor a prize for the ‘Best COVID film’ submitted through the competition.

This prize was won by Yohana Ambros for her film ‘Buonanotte/Goodnight’, a moving personal tale of being homelessness in Milan, the epicentre of the pandemic in Europe.

The judges prize went to Javier Robles Álvarez, a young film-maker for his first film ‘MANUEL’, a thought provoking reflection about family time and forgetting, incidentally also made in Spain during the constraints of the pandemic.

Both films will be shown alongside a discussion with the film-makers on 4th December 2020, as part of The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) virtual ‘Big Tent – Live Events Programme’, and the International Science Film Festival of India in late December.

However if you are not able to make any of these screenings, then you can watch the film trailers on the FPH, PHFS or TORCH website.

Lastly, we would like to extend a special thanks to the film judges for kindly gave their time without which this project would not have been possible.

Nimish Kapoor, Senior Scientist and Head, Science Film Festival Division, Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India

Kartik Sharma – Filmmaker and founder of Public Arts Health & Us (PAHUS)

Patrick Russell, Senior Curator (Non-Fiction), British Film Institute (BFI) National Archive

Linda Bergonzi-King, MPH, Co-Organizer of the American Public Health Association Global Public Health Film Festival; Producer/Director/Consultant at TriBella Productions

Dr Stephanie Johnson, Research Fellow in Global Health Bioethics at the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, University of Oxford

Professor Maggie Rae, President of the UK Faculty of Public Health

Dr Olena Seminog, Vice-President, Public Health Film Society, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford

Blog written by Uy Hoang
Chair, FPH Film SIG

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What a day….


Well today is a strange day. There’s a lot going on. 

It was the USA presidential election yesterday and we awoke today expecting the results, but, as I write, it is neck and neck and there is no clarity – certainly no landslide for either Biden or Trump. We have to wait and see when all the votes are counted, despite Trump trying to get some of the postal votes not counted. It doesn’t bode well for a quiet transition.  

Today is the day that the USA formally leaves the Paris Agreement on climate change. The election result will of course have an impact on that. If Trump wins then the withdrawal will remain, with all the global impact that that might bring. If Biden wins then he has said he will reverse that decision and rejoin the USA into the Paris agreement.  For those who know me and my passion around health and climate change then there would be no guess as to which outcome I am hoping for.  (Late note added 8 11 20 – Joe Biden has won and has already said he will rejoin USA into the Paris agreement .. hooray!)  

It is 5 years since the Paris agreement and today is the first Earthmedic and Earthnurse day …. “EarthMedic and EarthNurse are focused on health and environment-related concerns, with the goal of being a home for nurses, doctors and others, concerned about the climate and health emergency we face  

This morning the UKHACC, (UK Health Alliance on Climate Change) – the Alliance of health care workers members organisations in the UK eg. the Royal Medical Colleges, BMA and Royal College of Nursing etc. (the FPH was a founder member in 2016) has launched their report on Building a Healthier Food System for People and Planet –  “All consuming”   http://www.ukhealthalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/UKHACC-ALL-Consuming-Building-a-Healthier-Food-System-for-People-Planet.pdf 

We were reminded that agriculture and food is responsible for over a quarter of global emissions. The production of red meat outweighs most other  food production and utilises 77% of land use on food.  

Eating more plant food makes a huge difference to the environment and the planet and is, of course, better for our health.  Please reduce your meat intake.   

Through the new FPH Climate and Health Committee we will try to bring in some actions that may make a difference to food consumption and waste.  

And if that isn’t enough for today, it is the day our MPs have voted for emergency measures for those of us in England to go into lockdown again tomorrow. The aim is to try to control the rising numbers of Covid-19 and get the R number back down to less than 1. Let’s hope it works.  

Sticking to the rules for lockdown is important. All of us in PH understand that.  

Unfortunatley not all of the English population (or even some MPs) seem to understand that. We shall have to wait and see what happens over the next month.  

So on that note, of two major global health issues – Covid-19 and climate change…I am sure tomorrow will be less action packed, as we all start into our routines of lockdown again  – most importantly –  stay safe.   

Sue Atkinson
FPH Board Member and Chair, FPH Climate and Health Committee


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