The Leeds health and care world is large and complex, with thousands of people working and volunteering in roles which keep people healthier and happier.
Heading north from the centre of the city, up Harrogate Road, you might never realise that one of the less well known gems making it easier to deliver better health support is busily at work.
Grace Kelly tells us more…
This month sees the Public Health Resource Centre celebrate 25 years of delivering expert advice and information to health, care and social work staff, educators, and charity workers among others.
Based in Technorth, in Chapel Allerton, the centre was originally based at St Mary’s hospital in Armley. The PHRC began sharing information in 1991, the year before current Leeds Director of Public Health Ian Cameron was appointed.
Dr Cameron was highlighting the importance of the work done by the centre at a celebratory event last week, noting how it fits into the 150 years of public health in the city landmark which has just passed. The health world has certainly seen significant organisational changes over those 25 years, with public health returning to local authorities in the last few years after decades as part of the NHS.
More significant changes have happened in the ways information is shared. The arrival of the first computer and even – be still, beating heart – a CD ROM, seems almost like part of some long-passed, sepia-tinged era. However, the PHRC retains a mix of modern resources and the tried and tested traditional resources, all of which can make a difference to education in a community centre in Beeston or a classroom in Wetherby.
The PHRC offers support to anyone in Leeds with a responsibility or professional interest in public health or promoting health and wellbeing. With a large stock of models, equipment, books, DVDs, teaching packs, games, reports and other resources covering a wide variety of public health topics available for loan, the PHRC are a centre for expertise in the city sharing knowledge and skills which can save lives. The team also produce a monthly Public Health Effectiveness Bulletin, providing valuable updates on new research and evidence for professionals.
The centre also hosts regular ‘Want to know more…’ sessions led by experts about hot topics in public health; these support the Making Every Contact Count agenda, which aims to use the millions of day to day interactions that health and care organisations and people have with other people to encourage changes in behaviour that have a positive effect on the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and populations.
With access to information for public health campaigns and health education, as well as being the place people can come to for leaflets and posters that are free of charge and that you don’t need to return, the PHRC is well worth checking out.
As Rebecca Väänänen, the PHRC manager who has worked there since 2008, says:
“We welcome users from a wide range of disciplines, including health, education, the local authority, social services, emergency services, prisons, and the voluntary, community and private sectors. While, as a resource for professionals, we are not open to the general public there is plenty of information we can share online on our website.”
The Public Health Resource Centre is based at Technorth, 9 Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3NB.
If you want to find out more and access their mailshots, contact:
Telephone: 0113 378 6200
Fax: 0113 336 7115