Yes, we’re in the middle of a pandemic but in a crisis, there are always opportunities. You’ve worked hard to develop yourself in your field and have built up significant skills and experience to go for a deserved promotion … maybe now it’s your time to take up an exciting opportunity.
There are a broad range of roles available as a Public Health Manager that you might be exploring according to where you see yourself headed so it’s a decision that you should weigh up carefully to see how they each fit into your own personal career goals. The different routes in to roles can vary on entry requirements, training and qualifications.
Some of the common ones you will find listed are:
– Commissioning Manager
– Health Protection Specialist
– Health Improvement Principal
– Public Health Principal
A Commissioning Manager will need skills and expertise in policy, promoting and leading best practice and developing services. You will commission providers of health and social care services for a particular group of the population. The chosen providers will need to be able to demonstrate how they can support positive changes to peoples’ health in a particular area, for example by providing services to support those in lower income BAME communities such as counselling support, health and nutritional drop-in clinics, support in applying for jobs.
Other aspects of the role could include ensuring that detailed contracts for services are negotiated, agreed and that the delivery of those services are effectively managed. It may also include determining how annual plans for services will be purchased; supervising, developing & managing staff; responsibility for handling budgets alongside working with colleagues in Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and local authorities to ensure that available resources are used to best effect.
Commissioning managers are educated to degree-level or equivalent, may have a qualification in Nursing or Social Work, and will have significant experience as a manager or commissioner in the area
Health Protection Specialist
As a Health Protection Specialist, you’ll be developing plans for protecting the health of the local population (of course, currently coronavirus and the wider implications of it are top of the agenda but, for example, it might include issues associated with health problems that could arise as a result of extreme conditions such as heat waves and floods).
The work would involve supporting other services that are involved in emergencies that could threaten peoples’ health.
Part of the role will include providing specialist support and advice on infection prevention and control to the public, colleagues and patients and other organisations.
You will also be required to support the development of evidence-based quality standards for infection prevention and control to help prevent the spread of infections.
Your job role will also request you to prepare reports on the performance and quality of local systems for protecting health (for example, monitoring which groups and numbers of those who have taken up immunisation and screening programmes in a particular area).
Health Protection Specialists require a Master’s degree in Public Health or equivalent, alongside significant public health experience.
Health Improvement Principal
This role may involve working across a wide variety of public health areas utilising your skills and specialist knowledge to plan and lead health improvement services and initiatives. However, it’s a slower burn and for this reason, the outcome of your efforts may not be seen until much further down the line.
For example, as a Health Improvement Principal, you could be involved in working with a range of individuals, communities and organisations to help with raising awareness of healthier lifestyles including the reduction of obesity in a local area, developing plans and strategies to help increase access to those requiring mental health services, leading on the commissioning of services and initiatives that can help to reduce drinking at dangerous levels.
The role requires you to have a number of skills including communicating complex information in concise and clear language, managing budgets and working with colleagues to determine the best use of often limited resources, interpreting and analysing complex data and information and evaluating services to determine their effectiveness.
Health Improvement Principals require a Master’s qualification in Public Health or equivalent, and preferably a management qualification. Ideally, you should be working towards registration with the UK Public Health Register (UKPHR) at an appropriate level.
Public Health Principal
Public Health Principals work across a range of public health areas, providing highly specialist knowledge, strategic direction, leadership and policy advice. The work involves developing long-term strategic plans for the public health areas in which you have responsibility.
The work may involve developing care pathways, developing a health service strategy for a particular region to support reduced access to GP services and hospital admissions, or developing ways to reduce health inequalities by purchasing services for those from more deprived, socio-economic backgrounds.
Public Health Principals require a Master’s qualification in Public Health or equivalent, and preferably a management qualification. You would be expected to be working towards registration with the United Kingdom Public Health Register (UKPHR) as a specialist.
If you would like help to explore potential job opportunities or prepare for an interview, do get in contact.
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