Supporting UKPHR registrants through the second COVID-19 wave

3rd February 2021

A recent joint statement was issued by the four Chief Medical Officers, the Medical Director for Primary Care NHSE and NHSI, the Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards GMC, the Medical Director NHSE and NHSI, and the Chair of the Academy of Royal Colleges. A copy of this letter can be accessed via this link

Whilst this statement is directed towards medical practitioners and makes only brief reference to public health, we wanted to assure you that the same principles will apply to our specialists and practitioners.

Specifically, we recognise that

  • Many of you are working in areas that are not your area of expertise;
  • Decisions made and advice given are done in the light of the information and evidence available at the time, and that information and evidence may very well change;
  • Public health professionals cannot always control how advice given is used within a decision making process, or the decisions that may follow;
  • Public health professionals are under incredible workload related pressure and have been for several months now, with no let up foreseeable in the near future;
  • Public health professionals have a duty to protect the public from a serious infectious disease and that duty overrides issues such as confidentiality.

We recognise these factors and when making any decision, we will take into account what was known at the time, the environment within which the individual was working and the rationale given by an individual for an action or advice.

What is essential, however, is that we all document our decision-making processes, particularly if it is our professional view that the best course of action is not the usual one.  All of us need to be meticulous in making contemporaneous notes, especially in situations that may need detailed recall sometime later.

I trust this gives you some assurance that we are seeking to be supportive during these extra ordinary times, but if you have any questions or queries, please contact our office at

Best wishes, stay safe and carry on doing such an excellent job of protecting the public health.