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We improve the knowledge and skills of health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing

We improve the knowledge and skills of health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing

Population health and prevention

We work with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Public Health England, NHS England/NHS Improvement and other partners, to improve population health and prevent ill health by improving the capability of the future and existing public health workforces and by developing and promoting innovative approaches to public health training and education for the wider health and care workforces.

The major causes of mortality and morbidity in England are preventable diseases caused by behavioural factors such as smoking, poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption. Although life expectancy has increased, people are living with multiple comorbidities and poorer quality of life. Furthermore, the poorer and most deprived groups are disproportionately affected, highlighting inequality and inequity in health. These elements contribute, partly, to the increasing demand and pressure on NHS services, impacting on the quality of care.

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out new commitments to strengthen the role of NHS in the prevention of ill health and reduction of health inequalities. A HEE-funded animation sets out the role and contribution of the NHS workforce in preventive healthcare practice.  It builds on the service priorities set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View, that called for a radical upgrade in prevention and population health. 


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Contact us

If you have any questions about our work, please email php@hee.nhs.uk.

Helping the workforce promote healthier lives  

The Healthier Weight Competency Framework is out now – this will ensure the workforce is equipped with the knowledge and skills in nutrition education, understanding of obesity and behaviour change to support the population to improve its health and wellbeing and prevent ill health. 

The framework is on the HEE website and is the result of a review, led by HEE and Public Health England, which determined there was a need for a single tool to assist learners to assess their needs and to signpost them to the most appropriate content.

In a similar vein, HEE has also produced this guidance document to help educators to maximise population health and prevention learning in their respective curricula.It is a combination of easy-to-use guidance (signposting to reputable learning resources in the field of population health and prevention) and a platform to showcase good practice from different health and care professions and educational establishments and at specific points in students’ learning careers.

This work has also generated a range of recommendations for maximising population health and prevention into Healthcare Professionals’ curricula and areas for further research. 

For more information email php@hee.nhs.uk.

The Population Health and Prevention Team has launched a series of short animations called ‘Public Health domain in a minute’. These animations, on our YouTube channel, give a general overview of the four domains of public health: health improvement, health protection, healthcare public health and academic public health.

the animations were developed by the Wessex School of Public Health and are aimed at those: wanting to learn more about public health as a career option (health and care workforces, students and young people), teaching related topics in schools, colleges and universities (health careers and health-related courses), and wanting to promote the domain they work in (health protection teams, universities, and public health teams in the local authority).

Please share with your networks. For further information email: php@hee.nhs.uk.