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Director for Public Health in Portsmouth will be missedLast updated: 19 July 2012 16:21
Paul Edmondson-Jones, Director of Public Health for Portsmouth City Council and NHS Portsmouth is saying a fond farewell to the city.
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones has been joint Director of Public Health for the two organisations for the past six years, and takes a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new post at City of York Council.
During his time in Portsmouth, Paul Edmondson-Jones’ fundamental role has been to prevent disease, and to promote and improve health outcomes. He was also responsible for reducing inequalities for residents through the assessment of needs, the commissioning and provision of public health services, and by ensuring that the best health principles are applied to all aspect of work by the council and NHS.
Over the past few years, Paul Edmondson-Jones has seen many positive improvements to public health within the city.
The most significant of these are increased life expectancy, especially for women whose life expectancy is now higher than the England average, and decreased smoking rates, which have fallen from 35% to 26% in just five years.
Paul Edmondson-Jones, said: “The most rewarding aspect of this position has been working together with partners, such as the Local Strategic Partnership and the Safer Portsmouth Partnership, to improve health and well-being and reduce inequalities.
“During my time in Portsmouth one of the biggest challenges has been the unacceptable level of domestic violence, which results in physical, mental and emotional harm to other people – usually women and children.
“I am proud to have been able to work with Safer Portsmouth Partnership and the wider Local Strategic Partnership, and play an important role in tacking this issue. Portsmouth became one of just 23 cities in the UK to be awarded White Ribbon status, which made a clear statement that violence against women and children would not be tolerated.
“One of the biggest highlights has been the tremendous growth of the Healthy Living Pharmacy program. This rapidly developed from a small initiative in Portsmouth to a national concept, with over 300 pharmacies and 1,000 Healthy Living Champions across the UK.
“It has been a privilege to be the Director of Public Health for Portsmouth, and to have had the opportunity to work and live in such a fantastic city with such wonderful people. I am immensely proud of everything the public health team has achieved, and it’s amazing to think how much the overall well-being of the city has improved.
“I will be very sad to leave Portsmouth, but as life in the Army taught me – nothing can stand still for ever. I’m leaving at a time when public health is moving into the local authority, and I know that Portsmouth City Council is relishing its new role.
“Portsmouth will continue to lead the way in Public Health, not just across the South of England but nationally too.”
Whilst Paul Edmondson-Jones has been working within the city, the Save Dave campaign has helped reduce alcohol problems, and work with Portsmouth Football Club has improved awareness of healthy living around obesity and blood pressure.
There have also been great improvements in the NHS infrastructure, including the new Queen Alexandra Hospital, redevelopments to the St Marys Community Hospital and new GP surgeries.
For more information please contact Media Duty on 023 9268 8073.
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