15 million workers including firemen, hairdressers and postal workers could form part of “wider public health workforce”
With only 40,000 people estimated to be part of the core public health workforce, and in light of the crisis in lifestyle health issues, this latest report calls for anyone who has “the opportunity or ability to positively impact health and wellbeing through their work” to join the wider public health workforce. The Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) calls for massive expansion to the workforce supporting the public’s health.
The report sets out some areas where, with appropriate training, the wider workforce could support public health:
- Point of care testing including body fat measurements, finger prick testing, blood pressure, BMI.
- Behaviour change programmes, healthy conversations, and signposting the public on to more specialist services.
- Social prescribing including screening the public for lifestyle health conditions such as inactivity, low level anxiety or social isolation.
- Assisting the public to overcome physical and emotional barriers to health advice including access to GPs and initiating conversations about health