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New Welsh director joins CIEH

Will Hatchett15/06/2017 - 11:54

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KateThompson joins CIEH from FSA Wales
KateThompson joins CIEH from FSA Wales

Kate Thompson, new director of CIEH Wales, says that helping to roll out important new responsibilities for EHPs under the new Public Health (Wales) Bill will be a key part of her job this year.

Expected to gain assent in the summer, the bill includes a new council-run licensing scheme for premises offering ‘special treatments’ such as body piercing and tattooing and the UK’s first register for sellers of tobacco products

Ms Thompson, told EHN Extra: ‘I am really excited about this job because I am passionate about environmental health. It is well integrated with the public health community in Wales and I am looking forward to working with some excellent colleagues.’

She said that amongst her top priorities will be ensuring that CIEH Wales retains its relevance to members, keeping it at the forefront of policy making and professional development and increasing membership. She commented: ‘To achieve that, I’ll be bringing lots of people together and making sure that we know what members and potential new members think. I’m a strong supporter of CIEH’s change to bottom-up policy making and I am going to be facilitating that here in Wales.’

Originally from South Wales, after completing her environmental health degree in 1986, she began her career as a district EHO in the London Borough of Harrow. She says: ‘This was a great start to my career. It provided me with exposure to a wide range of environmental health issues’. Taking a keen interest in health promotion, in 1990 she completed a masters degree in environmental health at the University of Greenwich, carrying out research on Listeria monocytogenes.

Ms Thompson was at the London Borough of Westminster from 1991 to 2002, working initially in health promotion. She helped Westminster to gain its first charter mark, for its 24-hour noise service, and, as manager of the pollution team, oversaw the council’s first review and assessment of air quality, highlighting traffic pollution.

In 2002, she returned to Wales to manage the Vale of Glamorgan’s environmental health, trading standards and licensing services. During that time, she also chaired the Wales Food Safety Expert Panel. In 2012, Ms Thompson joined the Food Standards Agency in Wales as head of local authority support and audit. She played a key role in the development of a new delivery model for animal feed official controls. She said: ‘This was a great example of how working together we can achieve more. The FSA worked collaboratively with Welsh Government officials, directors of public protection and the Welsh Local Government Association to bring about rapid improvements, adopting a truly risk based approach for Wales.’ For her last 12 months, Ms Thompson was FSA Wales’ work stream lead for Regulating our Future.

She said: ‘Obviously, I’ll retain a keen interest in how ROF progresses in my new role at CIEH. The programme is evolving all the time and will continue to do so, particularly in the wider context of Brexit, business rate retention and local government finance. My view is that, ideally, ROF will be sufficiently flexible to recognise differences across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in terms of their economies, business needs and regulatory landscapes.’

She said of her predecessor: ‘Julie Barratt has done some great work here and I am conscious that, in following her, I have big boots to fill, but I am really looking forward to stepping up to the challenge.’

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1503 days ago
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Welcome to CIEH, Kate. By the way, Scotland will have the first registration scheme for tobacco and nicotine vapour product retailers with mandatory registration by 1st October this year. https://www.tobaccoregisterscotland.org/about-the-register/

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