Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

Programme for Principles of Health Protection CPD Course 2021

Day 1

Session Focus: Principles of Surveillance and Outbreak Management

Outbreak control

The importance of a multi-agency local approach to control outbreaks cannot be underestimated. An outbreak is never a situation that we can manage in isolation, we will explore the multi-dimensional impact of a small, medium, and large outbreak as well as a pandemic and illustrate the actions required for each level. These incidents may appear to need clinical only intervention, when interventions from behavioural scientists, other sectors such as industry, education, transport can all come together to provide better outcomes. A joint operations template is required to manage incidents.


Day 2

Session Focus: Principles and Practice of Vaccines and Immunisation

Application of Science

Vaccines have and continue to save lives. Without vaccines 50% of us would not be here. The rapid advancement in developing vaccines is an example of how fast progress is possible in adversarial times. Working with subject matter experts in virology, immunology and vaccinology has enabled us to develop tried and trusted vaccines as well as try new platforms. These new platforms have the potential to alter preventative medicine interventions. Imagine a vaccine to prevent chronic diseases - this may soon become possible. 

We will address the fantastic developments in the field of vaccines and what else can also be achieved via the vaccines route, especially as antibiotics may be becoming ineffective.


Day 3

Session Focus: Emergency Preparedness

Early warning systems

Concepts and data collection are required for timely actions. We will explore sources of timely data for a robust surveillance system, which then informs best use of resources for appropriate control measures. Early interventions save lives and cost less. Delays in interventions cost lives and it becomes difficult if not impossible to regain control. We will use the examples of the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to illustrate this important point.

Planning and Preparedness

Prior planning saves lives. Failure to plan implies planning for a failure (Margaret Chan former WHO Director). Just as in controlling an outbreak, there is the importance of test, test, and test (WHO Director General 20202). There is also a mantra of plan, plan, and plan. Review plan and repeat. A fine example of different planning approaches is the comparison of how the South Korean and neighbouring Far Eastern countries have been managing the SARS- CoV-2 pandemic compared to the USA and UK. Multi-agency planning, resilience forums and chains of accountability and command are all important skills and systems to have for when any incident arises.


Day 4

Session Focus: HIV, Sexual Health and Public Health Implications

HIV, Sexual Health and Public Health Implications

Using the model of HIV and Hepatitis management, we will illustrate the importance of all facets of infectious disease control and good public health measures locally, nationally and globally. The wider determinants of health and needs for central governments to recognise the importance of prevention, surveillance, public engagement, and control strategies.

Managing infections is much more than just the individual infection, prevention will help many more people and going forward timely surveillance, contact tracing and using information for action is better, cheaper, and much more effective.


Day 5

Session Focus: Outbreak Exercise

Outbreaks are our bread and butter; training and experience makes for better outcomes, management and protects the population. Whilst we cannot create outbreaks to order, we will create a simulated, realistic outbreak with engagement from all key sectors. This will include bringing together subject matter experts, the co-ordination of the operation, advice and informing key stake holders and a simulated press briefing too.

The daily tools of surveillance, epidemiology, testing, sampling, hypothesis generating, investigative case studies, report writing will all be brought into play.


Day 6

Session Focus: Emerging Threats (Planetary Health, Sustainability), Hepatitis

Emerging threats – Global warming

The interface between vectors and infections merits a lot of attention. With warming temperatures, we can expect to see infections that were once rare or did not exist in the colder climate countries. In addition, we can expect infections in both the human population as well as farm livestock and the introduction of infections into the wild animal population as well. There are also consequences for agriculture, forests, plant, and animal species. This horizon scanning is important: we must plan, prepare, and put in timely control measures.