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Last edited 25 Aug 2015
Public health consultant
Public health is concerned with the protection of health and wellbeing and the prolonging of life at the society level, rather than the treatment of individuals. This is achieved through health improvement, the improvement of health services and health protection. A public health consultant will work to improve communities and the environment to ensure they are optimised for a healthy life.
Public health consultants work in a wide range of organisations to improve societal health:
- Local NHS organisations.
- Public Health England.
- Local community organisations.
- University and academic institutions.
- Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) / voluntary organisations.
- The military.
- National and local government agencies and authorities.
- World health organisations.
 Typical duties
Public health consultants can have a wide variety of roles, with typical tasks including:
- Undertaking research and analysis.
- Presenting findings and opinions to government and other organisations to help develop policies and procedures.
- Advising groups on the options available to improve health and wellbeing.
- Developing local and national policies aimed at encouraging healthy lifestyles and reducing risks.
- Monitoring and evaluating strategies and policies to determine their effectiveness.
 Typical skills
Public health consultants require a wide variety of skills and knowledge, such as:
- Epidemiology (the study of the distribution and causes of disease or health conditions, and the use of this information to help prevent or control diseases or health problems).
- Health economics.
- Communicable diseases.
- Budgeting and project management.
- Detailed appraisal and review.
- Health impact assessments.
- Medical sociology.
 Faculty of Public Health
The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) is the professional body that sets standards for public health professionals in the UK. It is a registered charity and a faculty of the three Royal College of Physicians.
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