It’s been another eventful few days for Liverpool’s Public Health team – but thankfully it’s been more celebrate than outbreak!
First up, Director of Public Health, Matt Ashton accepted a national award from the ADPH (Association of Directors of Public Health) at their annual conference in London – followed by a visit from Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.
Matt’s award was in recognition of the impact he’s made in the city since taking up the DPH role in April 2020 – which was a joint appointment with the University of Liverpool, where he is also an Honorary Professor in the Department of Public Health and Policy.
Matt said “I’m incredibly thankful and humbled to receive this award; however, I didn’t do this alone. I have incredible colleagues, not only in Public Health, but across the council, and I’m still in awe of how city partners and communities came together to keep our city safe – so I accept this award on behalf of #TeamLiverpool.”
The week ended on a real high for Matt and the Public Health team, with Professor Whitty also taking some time out from his busy schedule to hear about “all things” Liverpool and to discuss how lessons learned at a local level could be scaled up and adopted nationally.
The team were able to discuss current challenges and the priority areas identified as part of the city’s recovery – including childhood immunisation, support for mental health and wellbeing, and progress being made on ensuring there is better early diagnosis, treatment and care for chronic illnesses – something that echoed recent comments by Professor Whitty on a “prolonged period” of higher death rates because people had stayed away from the NHS during the pandemic.
Professor Whitty visited Liverpool as part of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s 125th anniversary celebrations, where he spoke on a systematic approach to addressing pandemics and epidemics.