Joint Health Protection Plan demonstrates effective partnership working
Good progress was made in the 2012-2014 Joint Health Protection Plan, it was revealed at the Highland Council on Thursday 5 February 2015. According to a review of the plan, developed jointly by Highland Council, Argyll and Bute Council and NHS Highland, 91% of the planned activities were achieved in the statutory two year period.
The Joint Health Protection Plan is a requirement for Health Boards and local authorities and ensures that the protection of public health is prioritised and carried out appropriately; seeking to protect the public from being exposed to hazards which may damage their health, and when such exposure cannot be avoided, to minimise its impact on health. Preparation for potential pandemic outbreaks, recovery phases of major incidents, management of E.coli outbreaks and addressing norovirus infection were just some of the risks that the plan was aimed at addressing.
Sights are now set on the Joint Health Protection Plan 2015-2017, which will come into place in April 2015 following review.
Chairperson of the Community Services Committee, Graham MacKenzie, said: “I am very pleased to see the success of the Joint Health Protection Plan over the last two years, which has been enabled by effective partnership working. The progress we have made will ensure the protection of the public’s health in the years to come and I welcome the proposed plan for 2015-17. We will continue to work together with our partners in NHS Highland and neighbouring councils on improving ways in which we can prevent health risks and keep the public safe.”
The proposed plan includes actions for national priorities, such as addressing health inequalities, reducing vaccine-preventable diseases, monitoring and improving drinking water quality, and minimising the public’s risk of E.coli contamination.
Meanwhile, local priorities will include effective sea and airport plans to provide adequate disease control measures, including Ebola arrangements, recovery planning for a major incident, protecting vulnerable people in communities from the impact of cold calling and rogue traders, radon protection and food safety priorities.
NHS Highland director of public health, Dr Hugo Van Woerden, said: “Ensuring that we protect the health of the public requires continual focus to make sure that we are getting it right and we should never be complacent.
“At the same time staff should be commended for the fact that their hard work has made a real difference and staff can be proud of the service they have provided.”
Dr Ken Oates, NHS Highland public health consultant, said: “The JHPP is a good example of close working between Highland Council and NHS Highland to take forward measures which protect public health on a wide range of issues which include infectious diseases and environmental hazards.