The United Kingdom Public Health Association (UKPHA)

“Through our members, activities and co-operation with others, to be a unifying and powerful voice for the public’s health and well-being in the UK, focusing on the need to eliminate inequalities in health; and to promote sustainable development, environmental and social regeneration to improve health and well-being.”

The United Kingdom Public Health Association (UKPHA) is an independent UK wide voluntary association, bringing together individuals and organisations from all sectors, who share a commitment to promoting the public’s health. It is a membership based organisation that aims to promote the development of healthy public policy at all levels of government and across all sectors, and to support those working in public health either professionally or in a voluntary capacity.

The UKPHA was launched at the 7th Annual Public Health Forum in March 1999 following an agreement by the Association for Public Health, the Public Health Alliance and the Public Health Trust to dissolve themselves and join together in the new organisation. Their motivation was to strengthen and unify what has been, until now, a fragmented public health movement in this country.

Activities

The UKPHA’s founder organisations have a track record over the past eleven years in policy development, producing publications and resources, and carrying out projects, on a range of public health topics such as poverty and inequalities, sustainable development, transport, food, housing, water, primary care, and crime. In addition, they have organised conferences, workshops, meetings, and seminars in all four countries of the UK. They have been in regular contact with Ministers, MPs and MEPs and have advocated successfully for health promoting policies at local, national and European level.

This work will be continued by the UKPHA, which provides the administrative secretariat for the All Party Group on Primary Care and Public Health, jointly with the Royal College of GPs. The UKPHA also provides the secretariat for the Common Agenda Group of national public health organisations, a committee which helps to co-ordinate activity at national level.

Two projects have been ‘inherited’ from the Public Health Alliance:

  • The first is the development of a health and low income resources centre, thanks to grants from the National Lottery Charities Board, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Webb Memorial Trust. These will enable us to build support networks, offer practical information to those working in communities and promote the formulation of policy in this area.
  • The second project aims to develop a greater understanding of the impact of crime and the fear of crime on mental health and to promote models of good practice. This project is part financed by the Department of Health. A resource manual is being developed for policy makers and practitioners within the health and criminal justice services. The project is based on two sites – in the West Midlands and on Tyneside – and will cover both rural and urban areas.

A grant from the National Lottery Charities Board Health and Social Programme has recently been awarded to the UKPHA to carry out work on developing public participation and community involvement in primary care. This work will be carried out in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University.

The Annual Public Health Forum will continue to be a key event for the UKPHA. This provides a major focus for debate on the public health issues of the day and, with over 700 participants this year, it has become the leading public health conference in the UK, open to all professional and lay people with an interest in promoting health and well-being.

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