A glimpse of Public Health in local government: my reflections

As my time with Nottingham City Public Health nears its end and with postgraduate studies on the horizon, I thought now would be a good time to reflect on my time spent in the department, my work and skills discovered. First and foremost I have a further appreciation for data; the raw quantifier needed to establish where you are at before you can even begin to determine where you are going, or where strategic diversions are needed. When scoping the prevalence of certain eye conditions, working with city population estimates deduced from estimated national prevalence figures has proved challenging. My MPH studies are sure to improve my understanding on the methods used when dealing with such data, recognising its limitations but also its value when needed.  Secondly I’ve been able to see just how interconnected public health work is within nearly all sections of local government involved in improving aspects of public society. Collaborations were found within different sections of the same department, between other departments (e.g.commissioning teams) and with external bodies, including arms of the voluntary sector. Together they form an extensive network of interwoven working relationships. I encountered and liaised with individuals in all the above sectors and so the importance of working together was clearly evident in my work on vision loss within the city. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Public Health team and I wish them all the best in their projects.