Duncan Selbie’s Friday message – 4 January 2019

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Firstly, a really Blissful New 12 months and I hope you had a while to chill out over the Christmas break.

Shopper analysis says that early January is the perfect second to catch folks once they wish to make modifications to varied features of their life. It additionally tells us that mid-January is when many individuals surrender on their resolutions, so it’s no shock that this time of 12 months is vital in attempting to assist folks maintain modifications that enhance their well being.

Round 2.5 million adults are utilizing e-cigarettes in England and vaping has helped hundreds of individuals efficiently give up, nonetheless round 44% of cigarette people who smoke nonetheless both wrongly consider that vaping is as dangerous as smoking or will not be conscious that vaping poses a lot decrease dangers to well being. Final week, as a part of the annual Smokefree ‘Well being Harms’ marketing campaign, PHE launched a movie which you’ll be able to see beneath, displaying the devastating harms attributable to each cigarette smoked and the way these could be averted by switching to utilizing an e-cigarette or different sort of give up help. Essentially the most profitable give up makes an attempt will not be pushed by willpower alone however use a mix of quit smoking help approaches, so PHE’s Personal Quit Plan affords people who smoke a fast and straightforward approach to discover the best help for them to give up. Extra data on the free help and instruments out there could be discovered on the Smokefree website.

Youngsters within the UK have already exceeded the utmost really helpful sugar consumption for an 18 12 months previous by the point they attain their tenth birthday. This determine relies on their whole sugar consumption from the age of two and underpins our newest Change4Life marketing campaign which launched on Wednesday. Whereas intakes have declined barely lately, our kids are nonetheless consuming round eight extra sugar cubes each day. Supporting households to chop again on sugar consumption is a part of Authorities’s plan to scale back childhood weight problems and the marketing campaign highlights how making easy, on a regular basis swaps to merchandise youngsters eat and drink essentially the most could make an enormous distinction. PHE has not referred to as for what the media has labelled a ‘pudding tax’, or for some other new taxes to be launched. However we’ve got reiterated the coverage place set out within the Childhood Obesity Plan, which is that the Authorities will contemplate different coverage levers, together with fiscal measures, if the meals business doesn’t make important progress on decreasing energy and sugar from their merchandise.

Earlier than Christmas PHE signed a memorandum of understanding with the Centre for Ageing Higher which is able to see our two organisations work collectively on the Prime Minister’s ambition for everybody to have 5 further years of wholesome, unbiased life. Tasks will embrace making a consensus and constructive narrative on wholesome ageing and co-creating an evidence-based useful resource with suggestions on deal with midlife danger components.

New analysis printed yesterday within the Journal of Science outlines how genome sequencing can provide outcomes to groups responding to outbreaks in as little as someday, in comparison with weeks with earlier know-how. Throughout the unusually giant Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria in late 2018, scientists together with some from PHE, used a brand new instrument to quickly check for various virus strains, enabling folks to be protected quicker and extra successfully. This analysis was carried out by PHE and The Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medication in Germany, in collaboration with the Nigeria Heart for Illness Management and the World Well being Group. Researchers have been capable of establish that strains of Lassa fever samples taken from a number of human instances weren’t all intently associated, suggesting that there was not a single supply of the virus that then unfold from individual to individual. Importantly this revolutionary work may very well be utilized to beforehand unknown pathogens, which might show important within the occasion of a pandemic when the causative agent has not been recognized.

My warmest congratulations go to Professor Maggie Rae, who has been elected as the subsequent president of the Faculty of Public Health in succession to Professor John Middleton. The College is a membership organisation for practically 4,000 public well being professionals throughout the UK and around the globe and Maggie, who’s at the moment the College registrar, takes on the position from July and we look ahead to working together with her. I might additionally prefer to thank and recognise John for his sterling management of the College throughout his presidency in pursuit of their mission to enhance the well being and wellbeing of native communities and nationwide populations.

And eventually, PHE colleagues have been amongst these honoured this New 12 months. Our Director of Advertising and marketing Sheila Mitchell obtained a CBE for companies to public well being and Wendy Nicholson, our nationwide lead for youngsters, younger folks and households obtained an MBE for companies to nursing for youngsters and younger folks. Congratulations to each on this totally deserved and particular recognition.

Finest needs

Duncan

Friday messages from 2012-2016 are available on GOV.UK



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