Rebecca Howell-Jones

I started on the Public Health Training Programme in 2012, coming from a science background in surveillance and epidemiology and having worked for a number of years at the HPA (as it was then) in Colindale.

Having completed an MSc previously at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, I started with a placement at Berkshire West PCT moving, when public health transferred to local authorities, across to the Berkshire Shared Team based in Bracknell Forest Council. Here much of my time was spent on a large piece of work looking at sexual health across the county. Following this, I completed a 3-month placement at Thames Valley Public Health England Health Protection Team, learning general health protection responses, gaining skills for being on-call and getting involved with management of outbreaks – for example investigating a Hepatitis A outbreak at a nursery.

My training was then temporarily on hold while I took maternity leave. On my return, I worked as part of the team at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health setting up clinical trials for Ebola treatments. This was interesting and fast paced work, going from funding application, protocol, ethical and regulatory approvals, study set up and recruitment through to closure during my 9-month placement. I completed my training working in Buckinghamshire County Council looking at the early years needs and service provision and identifying how the health (in the widest sense) of 0-5 year olds could be improved across the county.