13 December 2018
I think it is important for the Yorkshire & Humber region to receive the sad news of Paul Snell’s death by acknowledging his contribution to public health in the region. There may be only a few of us left still working in the public health system who remember Paul as a colleague and a Director of Public Health.
Paul led public health in Sheffield during its heyday, when it was a leading proponent of the Healthy City movement within the UK and Europe. Paul brought to the role his experience of health systems in this country and in developing countries but perhaps more importantly he fostered the broad model of new public health, enabling the tremendous talent within the City to thrive and innovate. One can look back at the scope of the Our City Our Health – the city health plan, from the perspective of today, only in awe at its ambition and reach but different times, different times. His annual reports were not afraid to challenge policy and he believed passionately in fairness and tackling the root causes of ill health.
In the nineties it was hard to gain acknowledgement that work to tackle poverty homelessness the environment and so on was vital for the public’s health. He supported the development of one of the first Public Health Nurse Consultant posts in the country and recognised the true value of multidisciplinary public health.
Fundamentally Paul was a decent human being: it was a privilege to work with him. Working in such a supportive environment certainly shaped my public health career for which I will always be grateful.
Stephen Pintus, Director of Health and Wellbeing, North East Lincolnshire Council
On behalf of the Yorkshire and Humber Association of Directors of Public Health
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