Welcome to the latest issue of the Champs news round up containing news, stories and informative updates from Champs Public Health Collaborative and Partners. 

Directors' news

It is with pleasure that we can announce Dr Sandra Davies has been appointed as Director of Public Health for Liverpool following her interim appointment to the post in April 2014. 

Conversely it is with regret that we announce that Dr Rita Robertson has confirmed that she will retire from the post of Director of Public Health at Warrington at the end of March 2016. 

Both have brought exemplary leadership skills to their roles and have been inspirational figures within their own teams and the wider collaborative. Both are wished the very best of luck for the immediate and long term future.

The following key messages were highlighted at the Cheshire & Merseyside Directors of Public Health Meeting that took place on 13th November.

The DsPH were delighted to welcome Andrew Furber, President of the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) and Magda Stepien, Engagement and Development Manager, ADPH to their meeting.

The Directors of Public Health (DsPH) discussed public health input into Devolution for Liverpool City Region (LCR) and Cheshire & Warrington. Matthew Ashton, Chair of the DsPH Executive Board will be the DPH representative on the LCR devolution and health group led by Margaret Carney, Chief Executive of Sefton Council. Public health will initially contribute with two state of health reports for LCR and Cheshire & Warrington.

Heather Grimbaldeston, lead Director of Public Health for high blood pressure, updated the DsPH on the test bed application that was submitted earlier this month and thanked everyone involved for their dedication and hard work on the bid.

Matthew Ashton DPH in Knowsley and Sue Forster, Public Health Consultant from St Helens will be the Champs Public Health Collaborative representatives on the Cheshire & Merseyside Fire & Rescue Services' strategic group. A sub-group is developing the health input into the 'Safe and Well' home visits. The visits will include blood pressure checks in the future to support the Cheshire & Merseyside work on reducing high blood pressure.

The DsPH received an update on the new Cheshire & Merseyside 5 ways to wellbeing campaign. The campaign development is nearly complete and local areas will be invited to a meeting in December to discuss local delivery of the campaign.

Mel Sirotkin from PHE North West gave an update on Antimicrobial Resistance, the current health protection review and the screening and immunisations consultation.  

Julie Kelly from NHS England gave an update on childhood flu uptake and the healthy living pharmacies which will link up with the blood pressure work across Cheshire & Merseyside.

Directors of Public Health welcome ADPH President

The Directors of Public Health were delighted to welcome Andrew Furber, President of the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) and Magda Stepien, Engagement and Development Manager, ADPH to the recent DsPH meeting.

Following the visit Andrew said: “It was a great pleasure to join the Directors’ meeting, Cheshire & Merseyside has an enviable reputation for effective collaborative working and it was great to hear more about the current programmes of work and discuss ways in which we can best support our members.”

Photo caption: L-R: Rita Robertson - Warrington, Liz Gaulton - St Helens, Andrew Furber - ADPH, Magda Stepien - ADPH, Matthew Ashton - Knowsley, Fiona Reynolds - Cheshire West and Chester, Eileen O'Meara - Halton, Sandra Davies - Liverpool and Heather Grimbaldeston - Cheshire East.

High blood pressure news

Cheshire & Merseyside team reach final stage of test bed bid!

The bid to become a test bed for high blood pressure and Atrial Fibrillation, which is being led by Champs Public Health Collaborative in partnership with PHE, the CVD Strategic Clinical Network and the North West Coast Academic Health Sciences Network was successfully submitted earlier this month and representatives from the team have been invited to a final stage interview next week in London.

The test bed programme aims to identify and promote high value innovations that produce significant health improvements at the same or less cost than existing practice.

If successful Cheshire & Merseyside will have access to £6 million of funding to support implementation of the project.

Updates and further information will be shared in special bulletins and on the Champs website.

Click here for background information on the Test Bed programme. 

Cheshire and Merseyside High Blood Pressure Partnership Board off to a flying start!

The launch of the Cheshire and Merseyside High Blood Pressure Partnership Board took place last week seeing representatives from a range of sectors and organisations oversee the direction and implementation of the High Blood Pressure Strategy.

The Board, co-chaired by Councillor Janet Clowes, Adults, Health and Leisure Portfolio holder, Cheshire East Council and Dr Kieran Murphy, Medical Director of NHS England Cheshire & Merseyside, is made up of representatives from Champs Public Health Collaborative, Public Health England, NHS England, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence, the Cheshire and Merseyside Strategic Clinical Network, the Stroke Association and the British Heart Foundation.  

Dr Heather Grimbaldeston, lead DPH for high blood pressure said “The Board is off to a great start and is already working towards our ambition of Cheshire & Merseyside being the most improved sub-region in England.” 

Each Board representative made a pledge as to how they are going to help achieve this ambition and all agreed to be a Board that drives change across the system.

Picture right caption: Dr Heather Grimbaldeston, Cllr Janet Clowes and Dr Kieran Murphy. 


Vital blood pressure checks to be part of Cheshire & Merseyside Fire & Rescue Services' 100,000 Safe and Well home visits next year 

Discussions are underway with Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service to start planning how blood pressure testing can be integrated into their successful ‘Safe and Well’ home visits.
Dr Heather Grimbaldeston, lead DPH for high blood pressure said: “The home visits made by the Fire & Rescue Services across Cheshire and Merseyside are much valued and integrating blood pressure testing into the visits will help greatly towards our targets of identifying and treating more people in our communities with undiagnosed high blood pressure. We are delighted that the Fire & Rescue Services value our work and are willing to assist.”

The British Heart Foundation and the Stroke Assocation are also providing advice and support to ensure the success of this innovative programme.

Mental Health & Wellbeing and Suicide Prevention News

Suicide Reduction Partnership Board member scoops Mind Media Award 

Congratulations go to Angela Samata, Suicide Reduction Partnership Board member and speaker at the recent 'NO MORE' Zero Suicide event for Cheshire and Merseyside, after she scooped the top prize for the acclaimed BBC One Documentary, ‘Life After Suicide’, which she presented. The winning documentary was nominated in the Factual Television category of the Mind Media Awards. 
‘Life After Suicide’ explores why some people take their own lives and how those who love them come to terms with the loss. The documentary can be viewed via the 'NO MORE' Zero suicide website.


Mental health and wellbeing campaign materials in development for local delivery

Champs mental wellbeing leads are currently developing campaign materials for local delivery and evaluation around the 5 ways to wellbeing. The existing five ways to wellbeing, a set of evidence based actions that can improve health and wellbeing will be reframed into messages that better resonate with the public. 
No and low cost delivery options are being devised and the suite of available campaign materials and a menu of options will be available for each local authority to use. 
Output documents from the segmentation exercise and a Report on the results of the two phases of testing will be provided along with an evaluation framework. 
The final suite of materials is likely to include: 
  • Open artwork - to resize locally
  • Series of sized print ready artwork (posters, leaflets and newspaper ads)
  • Brand guidelines
A comprehensive briefing document will be issued to all relevant stakeholders and teams shortly and a meeting is being held on 14th December, 2-4pm at the Champs support team offices.

Developing public health leadership and workforce capability in mental health. 

Pat Nicholl, Mental Health Lead at Champs Support Team recently attended a training course focussing on developing public health leadership and workforce capability in mental health, prioritising the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
Following the training course Pat Nicholl said: "This was a worthwhile training exercise and will help strengthen our work around the mental health and wellbeing of children in our communities".

Champs Public Health Collaborative News

Champs presents to the Cheshire & Warrington Chief Executives

Dr Heather Grimbaldeston last week presented an update of the Champs key collaborative programmes of work to the Cheshire & Warrington Chief Executives' meeting which was well received.

Devolution for Cheshire & Warrington was also discussed and the Chief Executives gave some recommendations for the DsPH to consider. Public Health will contribute to the devolution and health workstream.

Flu Preparation Care Home Packs ready for roll out across Cheshire and Merseyside

Following a flu ‘mop up and prepare’ session in the summer Cheshire West and Chester have been developing, with PHE, an Influenza Resource Pack for Care Homes.
The pack has been designed to assist care homes in preparing for outbreaks of flu and to give them all the advice and guidance they will require in one place. Directors of Public Health have been asked to arrange for this pack to be distributed to care homes in their localities.
Thanks goes to Donald Read at Cheshire West and Chester and Anjila Shah at PHE for their hard work on this project. 
If you have any questions regarding this initiative  please contact


Halton runners up at NHS Health Check Awards 

Halton Borough Council Public Health, Health Improvement Team (HIT) and Widnes Vikings were runners up at the recent HEART UK NHS Health Check Awards 2015 for their work on delivering the NHS Health Check scheme to residents in Halton with a particular emphasis on men.
The NHS Health Check is offered to people aged between 40 and 74 once every five years and assesses people’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke and dementia.
Dr Ifeoma Onyia, Consultant in Public Health at Halton Borough Council said “I am delighted that the work has been recognised in particular because the team comprises dedicated individuals in Public Health who are genuinely enthusiastic about improving local health. The collaboration with the record breaking Widnes Vikings team has helped make NHS Health Checks an appealing choice for the people of Halton”

0-5 team thanked by Chair for exemplary work 

Margaret Carney, Chief Executive of Sefton Council and Chair of the 0-5 Strategic Leadership Transformation Group (SLTG) took the opportunity recently thank all members of the group for their excellent work.

The 0-5 SLTG worked to ensure maximum impact was made of the revised Healthy Child programme and the transfer of 0-5 public health responsibilities to Local Authorities.

Margaret Carney said: "It has been a pleasure working with such a committed and passionate group of people.  The collaborative working I have seen in this work has been exemplary.  Thanks to everyone for your contribution."

Public Health Leadership at its best

Public Health England recently undertook a review of the local screening and immunisation functions delivered by PHE staff. 
Engaging with partners was a key part of this review and feedback was invited from local public health teams to help PHE decide on the best way forward.
Dympna Edwards, Assistant Director of Public Health at St Helens, prepared a shared response on behalf of Cheshire and Merseyside which was much appreciated by the DsPH.

Emer Coffey, Public Health Consultant in Liverpool is also thanked alongside Dympna for her great leadership during the PHE consultation.

CPD & Events News

Remember Champs CPD events can be viewed on the website

Click here to view CPD calendar for 2015-16, for further details on all forthcoming events and to view presentations from past events.

Watch this space for updates on the annual suicide prevention summit planned for 11th February 2016.

Please note that dates are subject to change and places are limited at some Champs events.

Other news

CALM encourages us to talk #BiggerIssues

CALM, in partnership with Lynx, used International Men’s Day on Thursday 19th November to encourage people of the UK to start talking more about suicide and how it is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK.

Powered by Thunderclap, the first ever crowdspeaking platform designed to amplify any message, everyone who signed up to support the #Biggerissues campaign saw Thunderclap automatically post on their social media platforms about the campaign.

To find out more about the campaign, please visit


Save the Date - MECC Conference

Making Every Contact Count (MECC)

27th January 2016 at the University of Salford, Manchester.

Health Education England (HEE) is hosting a national conference on Making Every Contact Count. 

The conference aims to provide support to people who commission, develop or deliver training in Making Every Contact Count (MECC) or Behaviour Change by:

  • Showcasing best practice around the delivery of MECC/ behaviour change
  • Launching resources to support the commissioning and delivery of MECC
  • Exploring opportunities for a professional MECC/behaviour change network

Further details, including the programme for the day will be available in due course.

Attendance is free of charge.

For more details and to register an interest please contact:

Champs Public
Health Collaborative

Suite 1, Marwood, Riverside Park, Southwood Road, Bromborough, Wirral CH62 3QX, United Kingdom
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