07 July 2017
The Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Turnbull, and her team are currently hosting the 14th Inter-Island Public Health Forum (IIPHF) conference at the Jersey Museum (6 and 7 July 2017).
The IIPHF was established in 1993 as a network for professionals in the sphere of public health working in British Crown Dependencies and other British islands (including Gibraltar, which has many island features), who have an interest in the special public health considerations, and the health needs and challenges, of small island communities. Professions represented include public health physicians, environmental health officers, and specialists in health intelligence, health improvement, health promotion and many other health-related disciplines. Although there is regular contact between IIPHF members about matters of mutual interest, they also come together periodically for conferences. The most recent conference was held in Guernsey in 2015.
The theme for this year’s IIPHF Conference in Jersey is Understanding Inequalities in Small Islands – Working with Disadvantaged Groups.
The President of the Faculty of Public Health, Professor John Middleton, will be attending as an invited guest, along with delegates from the public health teams in Guernsey, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, Orkney, the Scottish Western Isles and Gibraltar. Some local delegates whose work is linked to public health in Jersey will also be attending.
Professor Middleton said “Having met Dr Turnbull at last year’s European Health Forum, and learned a little from her about the important public health work underway in Jersey, as well as the forthcoming conference, I was very pleased to be invited to participate. I am expecting that it will be a very good opportunity to network with public health leaders and their teams from such an interesting range of island settings, including many Fellows and Members of the Faculty of Public Health.”
The conference proceedings will begin on the evening of Wednesday 5 July with a traditional Jersey vin d’honneur. This will take place at Jersey Museum, with a welcome address by Minister for Health and Social Services, Senator Andrew Green. Guests will include ministers, assistant ministers and officials from States of Jersey departments whose responsibilities have an important interrelationship with the wider health and wellbeing agenda.
On Thursday morning (6 July), the conference will be formally opened by Dr Turnbull, who will welcome as keynote speaker Dr Paul Bingham, the Isle of Wight’s former Director of Public Health, and a founder member of the IIPHF.
Dr Turnbull said “After many months in preparation, it is exciting that it is almost time for our conference to begin and for us to be welcoming colleagues from our network of islands, near and far, to our own beautiful Island. There is always so much to learn at these conferences from the excellent work our colleagues have been doing in the other islands, as well as the opportunity to showcase our own successful work. We all have so much in common, although of course we are fiercely proud of our own particular island’s unique features. We really enjoy sharing our colleagues’ learning, and sharing ours with them – for the greater good of all IIPHF members’ own island populations. It feels like being part of a big family, one in which we are definitely ‘stronger together’.
“I must take this opportunity to thank my exceptional colleagues in our small public health team, who have been working tirelessly to set up all the arrangements for what we are all hoping will be the best IIPHF Conference yet.
“I am delighted that we will be joined by Professor Middleton, interrupting his busy schedule to visit Jersey for the first time, and hope as he returns to England that he will have absorbed a little island’s public health magic, and some lasting positive memories.
“I shall also be fascinated to hear Dr Bingham’s keynote address, with his reflections on the IIPHF over its first 24 years.”