DR Sallie Bacon has been confirmed as Hampshire’s new director of public health.
She has held the position of interim director since December 2015 but now formally replaces Dr Ruth Milton, Hampshire County Council’s first incumbent subsequent to the transfer of public health responsibilities from the NHS to local government.
Patricia Stallard, the county council’s executive member for health and public health, said: “With 1.3 million residents, Hampshire’s population is becoming more diverse, getting older and living longer, which is good news, but there are greater inequalities and more people experiencing lifestyle-related illness.
“The role of director of public health is critical in helping to tackle these issues, and I am delighted that we are able to confirm the appointment of Dr Bacon, whose skill and expertise has been so evident during her time with the county council.”
The director of public health leads work to improve and protect the health and wellbeing of Hampshire residents by understanding why some people are healthy and others less so, and how to enable people to choose a healthy lifestyle. This will include advising on a range of health issues from outbreaks of disease and ensuring the county is prepared for health emergencies to how to address the factors that lead to poor health and working closely with the NHS as well as county council colleagues.
The role is also shaped by local needs and priorities, and Dr Bacon has overseen the recent launch of a five-year public health plan – Towards a Healthier Hampshire – which sets out the local authority’s public health priorities for the next few years.
Dr Bacon joined the county council in 2013 as associate director of public health when responsibility for the county’s public health passed to Hampshire County Council from NHS Hampshire. She held the position of associate director at the latter from 2011.
Prior to that, Dr Bacon was a consultant in public health at NHS Berkshire. She has worked as a GP, as well as in A&E, paediatrics and gynaecology in Nottingham and London.