In October 2019, Andy Moore joined the team from Leeds Public Libraries. His new role is a two year post as Digital Projects Officer and he will be working on three projects: to create digital content that share key public health messages with workforce; to update the PHRC website; and to make improvements to the PHRC’s library management system.
In December, Sally Hughes started as our Health Improvement Resource Assistant. Sally arrives from Leeds Public Libraries and her roles in the PHRC are dealing with customer enquiries, issuing stock, compiling leaflet & poster orders, promoting campaigns and running our Instagram account and then of course there will be lots of project work that will come up to get stuck into.
To make it clear to visitors where the PHRC is located within the building we have created some new signage. This sign is in the reception area of the main building.
We also created a wall design with photo frames to showcase the different work the PHRC does e.g. showing the latest events or posters etc. available at the PHRC.
Training & development
We won a bid from HEE for some new conferencing equipment for the PHRC training room. We know this has arrived somewhere in the Council, but due to Covid-19 it hasn’t arrived just yet into the PHRC training room.
The Centre’s popular Want To More About sessions on different public health topics were paused between March and July due to the pandemic but have been restarted as webinars and 5 have taken place since then attended by 127 people in total, with a further 7 planned between now and end of November 2020.
In March we closed the physical PHRC due to Covid-19 and we all started to work from home. We have continued answering customer questions via our e-mail and voicemail messages. Our public health team created a Covid-19 query e-mail account and a Public Health Messaging Group (PHMG). This PHMG has been key in getting the right information out across Leeds at the right time. The PHRC has been heavily involved in this work including the creation of a webpage to signpost to local and national services. The webpage has been getting around 900 visits per month and 600 unique page views.
We have also continued to promote public health messages through our social media channels and have started to record and publish training and information films to the new Leeds Public Health Training playlist on YouTube. 6 webinars have been recorded and published since the start of the pandemic and have had a collective total of 522 views between them so far.
The PHRC sits within the wider remit of Workforce Development in Leeds and we quickly set up weekly team meetings that included this whole wider team. This has proved a big success with the team as they feel more informed and connected to the wider public health team.
We also set up individual weekly catch up skype calls to maintain contact with each other, these have been primarily to see how each other are and then to discuss work issues. I’ve personally found these anchors throughout the week to be really beneficial. When working at home, isolated from the team physically, everyone dealing with their own home lives too – having these anchor points that remind you what day it is and connect you with the team have been vital during the emotional rollercoaster.
Reopening the PHRC
In July we started the process of requesting permission to open the PHRC again and looking at what procedures needed to be followed and what risk assessments were required to make the space Covid secure. This involved creating a plan and sharing it with the Trade Unions. Then involving HR, Facilities, Health & Safety, Occupational Health, Staff, Bronze and Silver Groups. There was a lot of work involved in coordinating it, putting up signs and taping off desks, but we got there. Our two Health Improvement Resource Assistants have been running stock check and getting things set up since the 7 September and we will be starting an appointment system for customers to social distance collect items from our service starting from Monday 21 September.
Public Health Resource Centre Manager