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Challenges ahead for new head of Public Health

Date: 14/03/2008           Category: Public Health

A new Director of Public Health has been appointed for Medway. Dr Alison Barnett took up the post, which is a joint appointment between Medway Council and Medway PCT, on Monday, 3 March. Alison completed her medical training at University College Hospital Medical School in London and went on to complete her Specialist Training in Public Health Medicine in Kent, Bexley and Greenwich and St Thomas’s Hospital, London. She comes to Medway from her current post as Director of Public Health in Bexley Care Trust. Alison has developed her skills in leadership for health across local partnerships and effective working relationships with clinicians and colleagues in the NHS and local authority in her previous roles. Medway faces significant public health challenges in tackling health inequalities and we are delighted that Alison will take the helm of our joint public health team between the PCT and the Council. Of the challenges that lie ahead in Medway, she said: "Although the health of the people in Medway has been improving over recent years it remains worse than the national averages with lower life expectancy and higher mortality rates from heart disease and stroke. "I look forward to working with Medway Council and Medway PCT to develop services which can improve the health of local people. "This will include tackling some of the big risk factors such as smoking, obesity and lack of physical activity which can lead to ill health as well as ensuring that local people have access to health services that meet their needs."