Written evidence from The Association of Directors of Public Health (DTA 46)


Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

Data Transparency and Accountability: Covid 19 inquiry


The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) is the representative body for Directors of Public Health (DPH) in the UK.  It seeks to improve and protect the health of the population through collating and presenting the views of DsPH; advising on public health policy and legislation at a local, regional, national and international level; facilitating a support network for DsPH; and providing opportunities for DsPH to develop professional practice.   


The Association has a rich heritage, its origins dating back 160 years. It is a collaborative organisation working in partnership with others to maximise the voice for public health.     



On 5th November, the ADPH President Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy was invited to give oral evidence to the House of Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee. This written submission is intended to complement and reinforce the messages ADPH presented during the oral evidence session.


Key Messages



1)      What data is routinely shared with local authorities and how effectively are data flows integrated and joined up?



















2)      Were sufficient plans in place at the start of the pandemic? Did these kick in quickly or were new processes established? What are some of the lessons we need to take from the first wave?








Although there are systems and people in place locally to support the management of outbreaks, a number of issues have impeded local efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.


a)      Disconnect between local and national







b) Undervaluing of the local public health system









c)       Lack of investment in public health and prevention 






3)      What is the right balance between health and economic factors in determining the COVID-19 response?









4)      What should be the criteria for exiting the national lockdown and returning to the regional tiers approach?




5)      What should the route map out of lockdown be?



1)      A clear commitment to a combination strategy


2)      A clear narrative to win hearts and minds


3)      Sufficient funding and resources to support individuals, businesses and public services



6)      What are your reflections on the public understanding of measures?










November 2020


[1] The King’s Fund, Public health: our position (2019)

[2] Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, Summary of the effectiveness and harms of different non-pharmaceutical interventions, 21 September 2020 (October 2020)