Following the release of 'Health impacts of all pollution – what do we know?', Professor Dame Sally Davies' annual chief medical officer (CMO) report, RCP president Professor Jane Dacre called its recommendation for health impacts of pollution to be included in all curricula for clinicians in training 'a notably progressive move'.
Responding to the annual government paper, Professor Dacre said:
The themes and recommendations outlined in the chief medical officer’s report are very welcome. We know about the lifelong health impacts caused by pollution, particularly those of air pollution, as often outlined by our special adviser on air quality, Professor Stephen Holgate, however more complex is how we as health professionals begin to tackle this issue in our own working lives.
As one of the largest global employers, the NHS has huge potential to influence change, therefore the proposed working group of royal colleges, government and faculties of health, to ensure that the health impacts of pollution are included in curricula for all clinicians in training, is a notably progressive move.
Additionally, as we recently highlighted with our joint report with the Lancet Countdown Commission, we need to ensure regular monitoring and reporting from local authorities and national bodies, to allow for quick and impactful change.
Every year the CMO is required to produce a report on the state of the public’s health – which may call on policy makers to implement measures that will improve the health of the nation.
In her report for 2017 Professor Davies has identified pollution as a major threat to public health. Additionally, she considers what changes are needed to better understand emerging threats and brings together sources of information to give public health professionals a better idea of how to improve the health of people at a local level.