Skip to main content

Health Education

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 11 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Teaching Public Health Networks in providing training opportunities. (240375)

The nine regional Teaching Public Health Networks (TPHNs) were established in 2006, as a commitment arising from Choosing Health. The aim of TPHNs is to establish an integrated and inclusive approach to the development of public health education across organisations and sectors, at all skill and professional levels. They have an important role in raising the awareness of public health education and training opportunities among all professional groups to help them understand how their job influences public health.

In addition to working on local priorities to change and enhance curriculums and skills, to include consideration of public health capabilities and knowledge, the networks are also taking a lead role in reviewing public health educator capacity across academic and service sectors.

While the primary role of the teaching public health network is not to deliver courses and provide training opportunities, many of the networks have worked on the development of short courses within their lead area.

No formal assessment of the effectiveness of the TPHNs in providing training opportunities has been carried out to date, although the activity of the networks are formally evaluated by the Department annually. Discussions are currently ongoing to inform the next business planning cycle, including the evaluation of current initiatives such as the TPHNs.