Duncan Selbie’s Friday message – 1 March 2019


Expensive everybody

Smoking prevalence is at an all-time low in England with fewer younger individuals smoking and we now have a combating likelihood of a smokefree era. This week we printed our latest evidence on e-cigarettes with a specific concentrate on patterns and use, the priority being that these could be gateway into smoking, one thing nobody needs to see.  This reveals that common vaping amongst younger individuals stays low in Britain and has plateaued amongst adults.

The findings present that in distinction to the expertise within the US, we aren’t seeing a surge in e-cigarette use amongst younger individuals in Britain. Whereas there was a rise within the complete variety of younger those who have ever tried an e-cigarette, on condition that e-cigarettes at the moment are the commonest give up support for people who smoke, this isn’t sudden. Some media protection steered that vaping in younger individuals has doubled over the previous 5 years, however in fact the speed has hardly modified in the previous couple of years. Amongst 11-18 yr olds, the proportion of normal vapers (weekly or extra) has been regular at about 1.7% and all however a small quantity (0.2%) of these younger individuals utilizing e-cigarettes have been people who smoke or ex-smokers. We will stay vigilant to any change on this profile and proceed to publish the proof and act on this.

This week Professor John Newton, our Director of Well being Enchancment, spoke on the Well being Choose Committee about traits in sexual well being and the challenges confronted by commissioners of those providers. It’s good to see that new diagnoses of HIV are down by 28% since 2015 and a discount in genital warts instances as a result of HPV vaccine however the image stays combined, with instances of syphilis and gonorrhoea up since 2016 by 20% and 22%, respectively. Since native authorities took on the commissioning of sexual well being providers in 2013, in lots of instances they’ve turn into higher built-in, extra environment friendly and extra accessible.

Gaps and anomalies in provision stay, though these can typically be addressed via good, collaborative commissioning. The diminished funding towards an increase in demand is clearly a problem for native authorities who’re having to do extra for much less and we all know this is a matter for the Spending Overview. PHE is main the event of a Cross-Authorities Reproductive Well being Motion Plan and we will probably be publishing an analysis of the sexual well being commissioning pilots and consulting on the chlamydia screening programme later this yr. You’ll be able to study extra about PHE’s work on sexual well being commissioning in our brief blog series.

Professor Yvonne Doyle, PHE Director for London has been appointed to succeed Professor Paul Cosford as PHE Medical Director and Director of Well being Safety. I’m additionally delighted to say we retain Paul as our Emeritus Medical Director.  From the purpose of handover in Could, his new function will embody main on world well being and serving to PHE put together for the brand new public well being science campus in Harlow. I can not sufficiently convey the debt we owe Paul as he has beautifully navigated our first six years and to Yvonne in main from the entrance in serving to to enhance the well being of Londoners.

Scarlet fever is often a light sickness however it’s extremely infectious and we’re encouraging dad and mom to be looking out for indicators and signs after seeing an increase in instances. PHE continues to research causes for this enhance by learning a number of potential causes, together with the strains of micro organism inflicting the illness, ranges of antibiotic prescribing and the unfold of an infection in numerous settings and affected person teams. We’re eager for fogeys to concentrate on symptoms as we transfer in the direction of peak season, sometimes mid-March to mid-April, to allow them to get their little one recognized and handled with antibiotics shortly.

And at last, subsequent Friday is Worldwide Ladies’s Day and that is significantly pertinent after we acknowledge the gender hole in pay that impacts many organisations, private and non-private, together with Public Well being England. The first purpose for this inside PHE is the gender distribution of labor reasonably than pay itself and in keeping with the ‘Stability for Higher’ theme this yr we’re on the case with sensible actions to handle this.

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