chapter  37
Networks: supporting public health
ByAllison Thorpe
Pages 10

This chapter focuses on a specific use for the networking concept – the public health network in England – drawing on a study of the specialist work-force carried out by the Faculty of Public Health in 2004 as part of the Choosing Health English white paper consultation process. Networks, by facilitating connections between 'grass roots' public health and the other key organisations in the system, are a vehicle for robustness and the maintenance of organisational memory. A cross-sectional survey carried out by Fahey et al. suggested that there was popular support for the role of public health networks in continuous professional development and education of the workforce. The skills escalator model for workforce development brings with it its own challenges for development of the workforce at all levels, from the basic level to the specialist, and across sectors. Health protection is a core component of an effective public health delivery system.