Population Health & Prevention

Check out the success of the Population Health Fellowships: National Population Health Fellowship a huge success

Population Health and Prevention – Supporting your Role and Contribution

The role and contribution of the  health and care workforce in primary,  secondary and tertiary prevention is well recognised and documented and has never been more essential. (Healthy Lives, healthy people: a public health workforce strategy 2013)

The public health workforce is defined as those for whom their primary function is working in a public health job or role e.g. a public health practitioner, data analyst or specialist and those that can make a significant contribution to public health but it isn’t their primary role e.g. medical staff, nurses, allied health professionals and specifically, colleagues such as yourselves at the frontline of healthcare delivery – GP’s and General Practice Nurses – new to practice.

For further reading on the role of the wider public health workforce and public health roles click here

More recently, the NHS Long term Plan 2019 & People Plan 2020 /21 set out the NHS commitment to improving  population health, reducing health inequalities, including key priorities to ensuring the best start in life, delivering world class care for major health problems and helping people to age well.

As healthcare professionals in primary care  ( both new and less new to practice!) you have a key role in population health and preventive healthcare practice – including health protection, ( e.g.  national screening programmes, infectious disease outbreaks) health improvement, ( e.g. addressing health behaviours & underlying determinants of health such as poverty, poor education and housing) and healthcare public health,  e.g. organised planning and service design using data / evidence  focused on achieving best possible health outcomes)

The following pages and resources are updated regularly to support your prevention and population health role within the context of your clinical practice.

Further profession specific support can also be found on your respective professional bodies websites such as the NMC or Royal College of GP’s  


View all North West Population Health and Prevention Network events here.

Don’t miss out, join the network and or follow us on Twitter

  • PHE and HEE have released an animation to promote the multi-professional ‘embedding public health into clinical services e-learning for Healthcare toolkit’.
    The toolkit includes a 5-step process with associated resources designed to support leaders, service managers and clinicians to identify their unique public health contribution and design, implement and measure their service redesign or improvement. 
  • PHE Behavioural Science Reference Cell Literature Report:
    Read the latest Public Health England Behavioural Science Reference Cell report to access research papers, blogs, podcasts and more.  
    Access the latest and past editions of the PHE Behavioural Science Reference Cell Literature Report under the “Keeping up to date” tab on the following link.
  • Digital Public Health 2020 – 21: 
    Access HEE’s digital learning resources produced in collaboration with system partners including MindEd, NHSE/I and PHE since the start of January 2020.
Check out the success of the Population Health Fellowships: National Population Health Fellowship a huge success

Useful Resources

New healthier weight e-learning for the health and care workforce

The healthier weight competency framework aims to prevent excess weight with early intervention from the health and care workforce. It is grounded in a person-centered approach and aligns with making every contact count.  

The framework was designed to provide the health and care workforce with guidance in promoting a healthier weight. This includes frontline staff, managers, commissioners and leaders of teams, services and organisations, in different roles and settings.

The framework can be used by staff working with any community or group within the population, including children, adults, pregnant women, care givers and vulnerable groups. 


About the healthier weight competency framework e-learning programme

Based on role type, the e-learning programme consists of three modules which break down the healthier weight competency framework for:  

  • Frontline health and care staff – competencies required for engaging with people about a healthier weight in an informed and sensitive way
  • Managers – competencies required for facilitating an informed and sensitive system wide approach to a healthier weight
  • Commissioners and leaders – competencies required for facilitating an informed and sensitive system wide approach to a healthier weight.

Written by experts in the healthier weight competency framework, activities in three modules follow key principles in the framework: engage, assess and enable, including links to related e-LfH e-learning sessions and additional information. 


How to access the e-learning

To learn more and to access the e-learning, please visit the healthier weight competency framework e-learning programme page.

New Public Mental Health e-learning session now available

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare has added a new e-learning session on Public Mental Health to its MindEd programme.

The new online session, which is free to access, outlines the impact of mental disorder, mental wellbeing, and public health interventions.  Mental disorder and poor wellbeing is common and can affect everyone. However, effective interventions can treat mental disorder, prevent associated impacts, prevent mental disorder from arising and promote mental wellbeing.

The e-learning session explores how access to public mental health interventions can be improved.  The learning resource covers the following subjects:

  • Impacts of mental disorder and wellbeing
  • Effective public mental health interventions 
  • Public mental health implementation gap and how to assess this
  • How to improve population access to public mental health interventions.

    The session is aimed at public health practitioners and trainees and members of the primary care, secondary mental health, social care and commissioning workforce.


The new session is available here.

MindEd is a free educational resource for mental health. 
The variety of free resources aims to provide adults, across professions and organisations and including parents and carers, with the knowledge to support wellbeing, the understanding to identify young and older people at risk of a mental health condition and the confidence to act on their concern and, if needed, signpost to services that can help.

For more information about MindEd visit: https://www.minded.org.uk/.

Health Education England (HEE) and NHS Education for Scotland (NES) have collaborated to develop a new, free e-learning module for people working in health and care to understand the role health literacy plays in the health and social care systems.

Health literacy is about people having enough knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence to use health information, to be active partners in their care, and to navigate health and social care systems. Therefore, to access, assess and apply health information, people need to be health literate. People working in health and social care need to be aware of health literacy and of the techniques that can help to increase understanding.

The e-learning resource takes about 30 mins to complete. At the end of the module learners will know why health literacy is important and how to use some simple techniques, including TeachBack, chunk and check, using pictures and simple language to improve communication and check understanding with others. After each section learners complete an action plan, detailing how they plan to use the techniques in practice. This plan can be used as evidence of learning in appraisals or professional portfolios.

This e-learning resource is pitched educationally as an introduction to health literacy, why it is important and the core techniques that can be used to improve health literacy. The resource supports a more blended approach to learning and spreading awareness of health literacy, building on the NES resource in The Health Literacy Place and HEE’s health literacy toolkit.


For more information about the free Health Literacy e-learning programme, including details on how to access it, click here.


The above information has been collated by the  North West Population Health & Prevention Network  – a multi professional network for the health, care and voluntary sector working across the  North west funded by Health Education England.

Purpose: To support the health and wellbeing contribution of the healthcare workforce, to create a culture of wellness rather than illness vin health and care delivery and to support the wider public health workforce in their prevention and population health role.


If you would like to join the network  click here.


Public health workforce development is a shared responsibility of Public Health England (PHE) and Health Education England (HEE).

Further information on the role and function of PHE can be found here and HEE can be found here.


Further useful sources of public health information:

These pages will be regularly updated with news and events relevant to your public health practice.

For further information contact [email protected]