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Public health advisory group

The Public Health HEEAG works alongside HEE’s Strategic Advisory Forum (SAF) to provide strategic professional advice and expertise to HEE around in its work on workforce planning and education development.

Advisory group members

  • David Walker (Co-chair), Department of Health
  • Chris Welsh (Co-chair), Health Education England
  • John Ashton, Faculty of Public Health
  • Janet Atherton, Association of Directors of Public Health
  • Michael Bannon, Health Education England
  • Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Health Education England
  • Viv Bennett, Public Health England (PHE) & Department of Health (DH)
  • Beth Bennett-Britton, Public Health Registrar
  • Carol Brayne, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge
  • Paul Cosford, Public Health England (PHE)
  • Shirley Cramer, Royal Society for Public Health
  • David Kidney, UK Public Health Register
  • Christine McCartney, Public Health England (PHE)
  • Di Roffe, East Midlands LETB
  • Mark Rogers, SOLACE
  • Tony Vickers-Byrne, Public Health England (PHE)
  • Richard Watt, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL
  • Graham Jukes, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
  • Jon Sutcliffe, Local Government Association

Meeting dates

  • 15 Apr 2014
  • 21 Jul 2014
  • 02 Oct 2014
  • 1 Dec 2014, 14:00 – 16:30, Portland House, London
  • 11 Feb 2015, 14:00 – 16:30, Portland House, London
  • 6 May 2015, 14:00 – 16:30, Portland House, London
  • 15 Jul 2015, 14:00 – 16:30, Portland House, London
  • 6 Oct 2015, 14:00 – 17:00, Portland House, London

Minutes from past meetings can be found in the related documents section below. For more information about this advisory group, please contact HEE.AdvisoryGroups@nhs.net.


Terms of reference

Purpose and Role

The overall purpose of the Public Health HEE Advisory Group (HEEAG) is to work alongside HEE’s Strategic Advisory Forum (SAF) providing strategic professional oversight and expertise to Health Education England to influence decisions:

  • looking at a one to five year time frame (whilst being mindful of the longer term view and horizon scanning at a national level)
  • from a public health perspective, at a population rather than an individual level
  • with a patient pathway focus.

The role of the Public Health HEEAG will be to:

  • align the business of the Public Health HEEAG to enable HEE to meet its Mandate and key strategic requirements for health, public health and social care
  • provide a short to medium term strategic view of the public health workforce planning and education system
  • support HEE in influencing decisions and policy concerning workforce planning and education for public health at a national level.


  • To provide expertise and advice on strategic workforce planning and education development across public health
  • To make public health specific strategic recommendations to HEE in light of the Francis Inquiry and the requirements of HEE’s Mandate
  • To provide oversight on issues emerging from the public health arena
  • Identify and promote best practice both in the UK and internationally to help support the work of HEE
  • To support the work of the HEE Strategic Advisory Forum and Patient Advisory Forum by providing professional oversight at a national level.


Public health is unique in that it is both a specialism in its own right and is also delivered by all health professionals, and, indeed, by others outside the health system, e.g. social workers, teachers, etc. The focus of HEE is to help improve the quality of care delivered to patients by ensuring that the future clinical workforce has the right numbers, skills, values and behaviours to meet their needs today and tomorrow, including clinical staff in social care and public health. HEE is also charged with putting mechanisms in place to ensure that there are sufficient public health specialists in the system as a whole, and that public health training is included in the training and development of the wider healthcare workforce.

The immediate focus of the HEEAG in supporting HEE in this role, therefore, will be to advise on the training and education of public health specialists in the first instance, but also on the training and education of public health in the wider system.

Reflecting the dispersed nature of responsibility for public health through the system, the HEEAG will work closely with the other HEEAGs through joint-working and cross-group representation to ensure that public health is integrated into all work streams across HEE, and also with relevant bodies outside HEE, including Public Health England (PHE) and the People in UK Public Health group.

It will also take account of the priorities and actions set out in the annual HEE Mandate from the Government and of the 2013 Public Health Workforce Strategy (Healthy Lives, Healthy People).

Governance and Membership

The Public Health HEEAG will be chaired by Professor David Walker, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Professor Chris Welsh, Director of Education and Quality, HEE.

The HEEAGs will meet approximately four times per year and meetings will be aligned to the HEE Strategic Advisory Forum dates.

The meetings will, wherever possible, be held in HEE offices for a maximum of 2.5 hours and at zero cost wherever possible to minimise the cost. Teleconference facilities will also be utilised.

The Public Health HEEAG will be accountable to HEE’s Chief Executive through the HEE Strategic Advisory Forum.

The HEEAG will consist of a core membership of 20 (maximum). Core membership needs to be representative and consideration should be given to ensuring representation (where appropriate) from the following:

  • Chief Professional Officer
  • Higher Education Institute
  • Newly Qualified Health Care Professional
  • Patient/Lay representation
  • Professional Regulator/Body
  • Royal College
  • Student and/or Learner

Public Health HEEAG members will have a high level of credibility with their constituency and be able to allocate sufficient time and have the flexibility required to make an effective contribution to the work of the HEEAG. The Public Health HEEAG will be supported by a secretariat provided by HEE’s Directorate of Education & 3 Quality who will be in attendance at meetings. Each organisation/group represented on the HEEAG will have at least one member.

External experts may be invited to attend meetings in order to contribute to specific agenda items, if necessary. The Public Health HEEAG will convene time-limited topic-based working groups, drawn from a wide-range of partners, to address key issues in detail. The working groups will be governed by the HEEAG and will produce and present papers at meetings when and where appropriate.

The membership term will initially be for one year. Where a HEEAG member does not attend a minimum of two meetings per year, a replacement nomination from the organisation/group they represent will be requested.

The core of the HEEAG agenda will be informed by the work of the strategic priorities for HEE, HEE Strategic Advisory Forum, HEE Patient Advisory Forum and HEE LETBs.

Ways of Working

By joining the Public Health HEEAG, members agree to:

  • uphold the NHS Constitution
  • always place patients and the public at the centre of HEE’s work, promoting and developing work streams aligned to pathways and patient journeys
  • allow all members to have an equal voice
  • commit to the highest standards of conduct, as governed by the 7 Principles of Public Office
  • adopt a ‘can do’ approach and be open to challenge
  • use accessible terminology, providing clear explanation of specialist terms and acronyms both verbally and in written documentation
  • uphold the constraints of discussing confidential data and information outside of the meeting when consulting within their constituencies on specific issues raised in meetings whilst supporting the need for openness and transparency.

Review and Future Arrangements

The revised governance arrangements (including membership) will be reviewed annually to ensure the arrangements are fit for purpose.

Agreed 1 December, 2014

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