A new vision of the health workforce
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has issued a report calling on a wide range of occupations to get involved in helping the public talk about health concerns, claiming that this could make it easier for people to address their health as part of everyday life. Occupations cited by the RSPH as forming part of a potential ‘wider health workforce’ include hairdressers and bar staff, as well as more traditionally health-focused professionals such as pharmacists.
The report builds on research presented earlier in the year by RSPH in association with the Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI). Their findings indicate that one in four people would be happy to take healthcare and lifestyle advice from hairdressers and shop assistants. Suggestions for how this expanded health workforce could benefit the public include using businesses such as bars for checking blood pressure, as well as encouraging conversion around healthy lifestyles.
Chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health Shirley Cramer CBE welcomed the report: “An extra 15 million people would be a huge addition to the public health workforce and the potential benefits to the public’s health are huge.
“Many of these occupations enjoy trusted relationships with the public and have golden opportunities to reinforce and support conversations about lifestyle health issues in a sensitive and non-judgemental fashion.”