Select Committee on Health Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Annex 4


What is the Public Health Forum for Bristol?

  The Public Health Forum is a new initiative to link people involved in public health work into a strong network. It will be developed by local participants with support from the Public Health Directorate at Avon Health Authority. The Forum will also provide the opportunity to link with Public Health Network including other local forums in B&NES, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

What is the Forum for?

  The Forum will link people working to improve health in Bristol, so that there are better opportunities to share information, ideas and learn from each other. It will help you to find contacts, sources of advice and expertise from all sorts of people and organisations involved in improving public health—and offer an opportunity to pass your expertise on to others.

Who is the Forum for?

  Anyone involved in public health, health promotion or health improvement is welcome to join. There is no charge. Members may come from the NHS, local government, the voluntary sector or higher education, including:

    —  community development workers;

    —  environmental health officers;

    —  general practitioners;

    —  health promotion specialists;

    —  health visitors;

    —  housing officers;

    —  information analysts;

    —  managers;

    —  nurses and midwives;

    —  planning and regeneration officers;

    —  university teachers and researchers; and

    —  voluntary sector workers.

What will the Forum do

  The Forum will link people (through meetings, discussion groups and contact lists) who want to develop or share experience and knowledge on any aspect of health improvement, for example:

    —  community profiling and needs assessment;

    —  developing local HIMP action plans;

    —  evidence based decision making;

    —  finding someone who knows the answer to your public health question;

    —  lobbying and advocacy;

    —  planing, implementing and evaluating local health projects; and

    —  tackling health inequalities.

How will the AHA Department of Public Health support the Forum?

  The way in which the Forum develops will be decided by its members, but our Department will support this development as follows:

    —  setting up local Forum meetings—four over the next year. The topics and format will be determined by participants, but might include, for example, local plans to reduce accidents, smoking or teenage pregnancy, improve services to families or older people, or tackle regeneration and sustainability. We envisage a strong emphasis on sharing good practice in public health activity;

    —  Avon Community Health Web (ACHeW) ( will have a Public Health Network page with information on local and national public health. It will include answers to frequently asked questions, information on education and training opportunities, links to evidence based web sites and to related public health organisations, eg the Health Development Agency, UK Public Health Association;

    —  maintaining a database of members of an Avon-wide Public Health Network and their public health activities and interests;

    —  administering an e-mail discussion group to enable members with e-mail access to quickly seek information or advice on public health issues from other members in Bristol and across the wider Avon network; and

    —  offering advice on public health queries, eg on planning public health projects, or finding the information that you need.

How do I join the Forum?

  To join both the Public Health Forum for Bristol and the wider Public Health Network, please complete the Membership Form available from Mike Shepherd or on ACHeW (

For more information

  Contact Mike Shepherd at the Department of Public Health, Avon Health Authority, King Square House, King Square, Bristol BS2 8EE. Tel: 0117-900 2652, e-mail

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