Publish date: 29 September 2022

Northumbria Healthcare’s inequalities lead to chair Royal Society for Public Health

A portrait of a man.An expert who helps lead Northumbria Healthcare's work on health inequalities has been appointed the new chair of the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).

Dr Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard chairs the trust’s Health Inequalities Programme Board (HIPB), which was set up last year with the goal of identifying exactly what the inequalities are in communities in Northumberland and North Tyneside in order to develop meaningful ways of tackling them.

Today (Thursday, September 29), his appointment as RSPH chair has been announced, following a stint as vice-chair and coinciding with the launch of a new five-year-strategy with a vision where everyone can lead a healthier life for longer.

This will be achieved by empowering and upskilling the breadth of the public health workforce to improve the public’s health; addressing health inequalities; and making public health everyone’s responsibility.

Dr Pearson-Stuttard, a public health physician and epidemiologist who also works as head of health analytics at Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP) and honorary clinical senior lecturer at Imperial College London, said: "I am delighted to have been appointed chair of RSPH. The public’s health is a pivotal asset for the country’s prosperity. Fostering a healthy nation and reducing corresponding inequalities has never been more crucial in the wake of the lasting impacts of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

"RSPH has a unique reach across the breadth of public health which is why RSPH’s new five-year strategy is so timely. Through addressing health inequalities, championing and building skill within the public health workforce, and ensuring the public’s health is considered in all policies, RSPH has a real opportunity to improve the lives of many. I look forward to playing my part to help RSPH to achieve this mission."

For a number of years, Northumbria Healthcare has played a key role in local and regional efforts to focus on public health, inequalities and ensuring the population lives well for longer, with its HIPB being one of the latest additions to this journey.

Alongside this, Northumbria Healthcare has recognised the key links between health and the economy and the role it can play as an anchor institution in Northumberland, North Tyneside and the wider region through its Community Promise.

Launched last year, this is a pledge to focus on all the ways it can improve people’s lives based on six key pillars, which relate to the wider factors that fuel health inequalities – poverty, employment, education, economy, environment, wellbeing.