HC 1048-III Health CommitteeSupplementary written evidence from UK Public Health Register (PH 87A)

I recently attended and was a speaker at a King’s Fund conference on Public Health, at which Stephen Dorrell was present as a speaker/session chair. He shared with the audience some anecdotes about recent evidence received by the Committee in its Public Health Inquiry, in relation to the balance of medical and non-medical recruitment to training in the specialty of public health. He then invited those present to send further submissions to the Committee on this topic should we wish to do so.

I am writing in response to that invitation, as honorary registrar of the UK Public Health Register, to acknowledge that the evolving change in the balance between medical and non-medical public health specialists has been recognised by UKPHR, which, as the regulator for non-medically qualified specialists, is fully prepared for the increase in numbers requiring entry to its register.

There may have been some misinformation about the status of voluntary regulators and I would wish to confirm that UKPHR is a fully functional regulator, charging an annual registration fee of £250 to every specialist registrant, maintaining an up to date online register that may be interrogated by individuals and employers, and with a pool of independent, trained Fitness to Practise panellists to be called upon in the event of any question over a registrant’s fitness to practise that might result in conditions on their registration, suspension or erasure from the register.

I do not propose to speculate in this letter on the reasons for the shift towards non-medically qualified public health specialists, although the NHS reforms and massive changes planned for the public health delivery system to take it outside the NHS may well be an important factor that particularly influences career choices among recently qualified doctors, the vast majority of whom are employed in the NHS. What this letter is intended to demonstrate is the existence of a robust, functioning regulatory body, UKPHR, which provides assurance for the public of the safety of the growing non-medically qualified public health specialist workforce.

Finally, I am enclosing UKPHR’s most recent Report for the information of the Committee.

Dr Fiona Sim

July 2011

Prepared 28th November 2011