Regular updates from our Digital Content Executive, Sam Cleal


CIEH Develops Member Led Policy Panels

28 April 2017


On 13 February, the CIEH welcomed a brand new community to its headquarters. The air quality expert panel - chaired by Steve Battersby - met for the first time to consult on CIEH’s air quality policies, and advise what campaigns were needed and what our priorities should be.

The air quality panel will be the first of many different specialist panels, each focussing on the core disciplines of environmental health and being made up of CIEH members.

Debbie Wood - Executive Director of Membership and Professional Development - explained that CIEH is now developing policy and undertaking campaigns in a different way, whereby members, through groups like this, contribute to and deliver agreed outcomes with CIEH staff acting as facilitators and advisors.

Steve invited members to openly contribute to the day’s discussions, whilst emphasizing that the CIEH must make a unique contribution in this area either on its own, or in partnership with others.

Discussions took place on the health effects of poor air quality, as well as the need for greater political will and interaction between environmental health and the positive contribution that improving air quality can make to the NHS.

The panel also agreed on the need for granular epidemiological evidence to support the need for action; how the establishment of Clean Air Zones is not necessarily a feasible solution to problems; the need to align air quality to both sustainable development and social justice and the need for action rather than more analysis.

Agreed outcomes from the inaugural panel meeting included the need for an initial CIEH policy position on air quality (which all group members should contribute to); that the CIEH should join the All Party Parliamentary Group on air quality; and that members of the panel may attend as CIEH representatives at upcoming consultation meetings and report back to the panel and community.



13 April 2017

10 interesting facts

Our intrepid Director of Membership and Professional Development, Debbie Wood, took to the London sewers recently to get an idea of what pest control really get up to. 

Debbie was invited by Darren McKellar, Pest Control and Clinical Waste Manager within the London borough of Lewisham, to complete a fact-finding mission into the ‘Cinderella service’ of pest control. Darren took Debbie through a range of homes and estates within Lewisham, revealing what pest control deal with on a daily basis. 

A chronic murophobic (that’s a phobia of rats and mice), Debbie literally tackled her fear head-on when she came face to face with all manner of “things that scurry” including mice, cockroaches, bed-bugs, squirrels and rats - both alive and dead! 

“I’m sure I nearly deafened poor Darren with my scream upon encountering an enormous rat in an underground service duct”, said Debbie. “But the day was fantastic. It’s given me the utmost admiration for the un-sung heroes of pest control: they make an enormous contribution to health and wellbeing that most people don’t know about.” 

Debbie’s challenge to face her phobia of rats came after she attended her first meeting of the National Pest Advisory Panel, a group of experts in the field who are supported by CIEH. 

Many thanks to Lewisham for hosting Debbie. She is now looking for another real-life environmental health experience, so come on - what can you offer?  #ChallengeDebbie or email d.wood@cieh.org 
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