Appointments: JOB OF THE WEEK: Environmental Health: Healthy Way to Earn Your Living
ENVIRONMENTAL health is one of the most important areas of local authority work, essential to safeguarding the wellbeing of communities. Yet it has suffered from something of a Cinderella image.
Paul Robinson, director of education and professional standards at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), sets the record straight about this challenging, varied and rewarding career.
``People tend to be surprised when they find out what a career in environmental health actually involves, '' says Paul.
``Contrary to its rather unglamorous public image, it isn't all about catching rats, unblocking drains and dealing with obstreperous people.
``In fact, environmental health practitioners are highly qualified professionals whose work, as well as being varied and challenging, makes a real difference to people's lives.
``They work to ensure that the food we eat is safe and of good quality, to improve housing conditions, to safeguard standards of workplace health and safety, and to create a better environment, for example by tackling air pollution.
``Today's health care is increasingly about prevention rather than cure, and calls for a partnership approach to keep people safe and healthy. The environmental health profession has a key role to play within health partnerships, working with Government and a range of agencies and organisations to reduce health inequalities and raise the standard of health and wellbeing.
``It's a career that provides excellent opportunities, both for school leavers and for adults wanting to retrain or to take forward experience gained in related occupations. …