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The civil society concept of 'Quis custodet ipsos custodes?' has been with us for centuries. In Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future, I went through every mention of 'public health'. The present workforce strategy mainly deals with employees of NHS Trusts, with local government getting a section only in relation to the social care workforce for older people. The key public health workforce is employed by either local authorities (e.g. Directors of Public Health) or local voluntary and community agencies (e.g. many Alcohol and Drug workers). In the critical page of the strategy on 'Developing the public health workforce' there is nothing on Academic public health nor on the role in developing training played by local authorities and the voluntary & community sector. Who teaches the teachers? This blindspot present in Health Education England and Public Health England leaves the future capacity for workforce development in grave peril. No wonder the public health special interest group of the Higher Education Academy died a death some time ago. Before it is too late, Commissioners need to invest in Educators, and Educators need to raise our game!
Member of the UK academic health promotion group, the National forum of school health educators and the Association for Research in the Voluntary and Community Sector.