UKPHA Cymru is the Welsh national branch of UKPHA
The national representative on the UKPHA Council is Paul Walker UKPHA Cymru 12th Annual Conference
The UKPHA Cymru 12th Annual Conference took place in January at the Environment Centre Wales, Bangor University. The conference explored the policy dimension, the evidence base and present practice with some excellent case studies to help illustrate the latter.
PHA Cymru was established in 1997 as the Welsh National Branch of the then Public Health Alliance. It held its first Annual General Meeting in Cardiff in 1998 at which it elected its first officers and Executive Committee. Since then it has expanded its membership and its activities and with the establishment of the UKPHA it became the Welsh National Branch of that organisation. It currently holds two Conferences per year, usually in collaboration with one or more kindred organizations, produces its own Newsletter - Iechyd Da - twice a year and from time to time publishes Occasional Papers on issues of topical interest in Wales.
PHA Cymru is managed by an Executive Committee which currently meets two monthly. All UKPHA members resident in Wales are eligible to attend. The Committee reports formally to the membership at the Annual General Meeting which elects the three honorary officers - Chair, Secretary and Honorary Treasurer - and the Welsh representative on the UKPHA Board. The present honorary officers are Paul Walker, Malcolm Ward and Lorraine Joomun respectively.
It has been commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government each year since 2001 to coordinate the development of a Welsh Showcase for the UKPHA Public Health Forum as a vehicle for publicizing public health developments in Wales. This year it inaugurated a unique collaboration with its sister national branch, UKPHA Scotland, and the Public Health Association of the Island of Ireland (PHAII) in organising a Celtic Nations Showcase at the UKPHA Forum plus an associated Workshop to explore differences in approach between the three Celtic Nations in tackling inequalities in health with particular reference to inequalities in income, education and housing.
In 2006, in collaboration with the Cardiff Institute for Society, Health and Ethics, it inaugurated the annual Julian Tudor Hart Lecture with the aim of engaging the large academic sector in Wales in the developing public health agenda. Dr Julian Tudor Hart was elected our Patron (Senior Conscience) at our first AGM in 1998.
Since 2004 PHA Cymru has contributed a monthly column on topical public health issues in the Western Mail, a major daily newspaper serving south Wales.
At the time of writing - April 2009 - the Executive Committee is planning its activities for the year ahead. It expects to organise its annual conference and Annual General Meeting in October/November and to jointly sponsor the regular Wales Health and Housing Symposium in collaboration with the Chartered Institute of Housing, Cymru, also in the autumn. The fourth Julian Tudor Hart Lecture is in the planning stage and is expected to be held in the summer.
A major happening during 2009 will be the publication for consultation of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Public Health Strategic Framework. This will provide a new broadly based framework for promoting health and wellbeing in Wales for the coming years. PHA Cymru members have contributed to some of the working groups that have developed the consultation document. As a body it expects to contribute to the consultation process involving as many of its members as possible in doing so.
A major continuing responsibility is the supervision and support of the Wales Wellbeing Network. The background to this is that in 2005 PHA Cymru was given a grant of £20,000 per annum for two years by the Welsh Assembly Government under its Health Challenge Wales Voluntary Sector Grant Scheme to establish, coordinate and empower a Wales-wide Network of NGOs interested in Wellbeing. This grant was extended for a further year in 2007; and in 2008 PHA Cymru was successful in securing a bigger grant of £80,000 for three years in the first instance to further develop what is now known as the Wellbeing Wales Network. In recognition of the expanded role for the Network a full time Network Coordinator, Dafydd Thomas, was appointed in May 2008. The Network now has a Steering Group supported by several sub groups and is gradually expanding its membership and its range of activities including particularly the promotion of a health and wellbeing development and assessment toolkit developed in association with WAG and the New Economics Foundation.