A NEW director of public health has been appointed and will work on both Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council.
Dr Jason Horsley, who has worked in public health for the past eight years, will start his new role on January 9.
I am very excited to be taking up this role of joint director of public health for Portsmouth and Southampton.Dr Jason Horsley
As previously reported in The News the decision was made to merge the role for both councils as the cities have similar health profiles and needs.
Dr Horsley, who most recently worked for Sheffield City Council, said: ‘I am very excited to be taking up this role of joint director of public health for Portsmouth and Southampton.
‘I am looking forward to building on the good work people have been doing to translate the economic development both cities have been experiencing into better health and wellbeing for their populations.’
The director of public health is a statutory position, providing leadership, expertise and advice on a range of issues from outbreaks of disease and emergency preparedness. It also looks at improving people’s health and concerns around access to health services.
Councillor Luke Stubbs, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said: ‘Jason has an impressive background so I’m looking forward to seeing how he can apply his knowledge and experience to develop the work that is already underway in Portsmouth to improve residents’ health.
‘We look forward to welcoming him.’
Former director of public health Janet Maxwell stepped down from the role in August and was replaced by interim Matt Smith.
A decision was made to merge roles to save money and share experiences. At the time of the decision Cllr Stubbs said: ‘The point about having the joint position is to share good practice as well as resources.
‘At the moment we are spending about £130,000 a year on the role. If we split that cost in half, that is what we are saving.
‘But this is not just about saving money. It is about sharing good practices and learning from our neighbours.’