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Health Improvement Committee

The Health Improvement Committee acts a source of advice and expertise on all public health aspects relating to health improvement. It works to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities by advocating for an environment that supports healthy lifestyle choices and by addressing underlying issues such as poverty, lack of educational opportunities, and other social determinants of health and inequalities. Its remit includes non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and cancer resulting from determinants such as poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and tobacco or alcohol users.

The following Special Interest Groups (SIGs) report to and collaborate with the Health Improvement Committee, to maximise their impact.


Committee Chair - Rachel Johns 

Committee Vice-chair - Thara Raj

Email address -

Health Improvement Committee Meeting - 18th October 2022

At this meeting, the Health Improvement Committee heard from Greg Fell, ADPH, on Commercial Determinants of Health, as well as the Poverty SIG, Public Health Film SIG, and Oral Health SIG. Key points can be found below.

Greg Fell, ADPH Presentation on Commercial Determinants of Health (CDOH) 
  1. There are no simple or quick answers on this.
  2. We must frame interventions in a way that acknowledges the cause of harm as industry activity and tactics, rather than individual considerations.
  3. Tobacco and gambling are key topics at the moment, alongside oil and medicine. 
  4. There is no single focal point or piece of work pulling together "who does what" around CDOH in terms of government agencies. 
  5. There is a fair amount of focus within academic practice, including SPECTRUM, however not so much in service-oriented practice or policy-oriented practice.
  6. Training should be systematised, including LGA member training, MFPH training, syllabus, and compiling “essential reads” and viewing.
  7. Getting our narrative as a profession right takes skill and practice
  8. Focal points for non-government PH advocacy include ASH, OHA, AHA. It's important to consider who should “own” the topic, and what trade-offs arise in that. Advocacy groups tend to be “topic specific”, with little binding everything together. 
  9. There are opportunities to learn from other UK administrations.
Public Health Film SIG

The Public Health Film SIG presentation, which covers recent activities of the SIG, as well as longer-term goals, can be found here.

Oral Health SIG

The Oral Health SIG presentation, which covers recent activities of the SIG, as well as longer-term goals, can be found here.

Poverty SIG

The Poverty SIG covered SIG membership, which is growing and has members across the 4-nations. The SIG updated that they are working closely with the FPH board, other SIGs and the HIC to address the cost-of-living crisis. Recently, the SIG worked with FPH to create a policy brief on poverty and the cost-of-living crisis.

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FPH is the professional home for public health in the UK and abroad. We support over 5,000 members across all career stages enabling them to drive the profession forward and achieve our vision of improving public health.

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