Prevention/Public Health

In this section

In This Section

Page last checked 8 September 2022.

Improving the public’s health is at the heart of health and social care across the UK with Allied health professionals considered an integral part of the strategic approach to health improvement1. Imaging and radiotherapy professionals aspire to be at the heart of a healthier nation2.

Public health refers to all organised measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole.3 Public health supports individuals, organisations, and society to tackle preventable disease, mortality and disability using:

  • Prevention: reducing the incidence of ill health supporting healthier lifestyle e.g. through screening programmes
  • Protection: surveillance and monitoring of infectious disease, emergency response and immunisation
  • Promotion: health education and commissioning services to meet specific health needs

Working collaboratively with other AHPs, both through the implementation of national strategies and on the ground between practitioners, the College of Radiographers will support radiographers in being recognised as an integral part of the public health workforce, with responsibility for designing and delivering improvements to health and well-being and reducing health inequalities.


  1. Linda Hindle - Public Health England, Laura Charlesworth - Sheffield Hallam, and University (2019). UK Allied Health Professions Public Health Strategic Framework 2019-2024.
     [Accessed July 29, 2019]

  2. Society and College of Radiographers (2017). Imaging and radiotherapy professionals at the heart of a healthier nation
    [Accessed April 10, 2019]
  3.  Public health services (2019).
    Accessed July 29, 2019]


​The AHP public health strategy can be found at

To learn more and join colleagues, please contact the SoR Specialist Interest Group for Public Health at the following link:  The Society of Radiographers Special Interest Group - Health Improvement/Public Health in Radiography.


The following resources provide detailed information for Radiographers and Allied Health professionals:

1.The role of allied health professionals in public health
Examples of interventions delivered by allied health professionals that improve the public’s health.

2. An introduction to population screening e-learning module

3. Screening timeline poster for the public

4. E-lfh online learning

5. The Allied Health Professions hub has a wealth of resources to support all Allied Health Professionals across the U.K

6. Guidance: Public Health Content within the Pre-Registration Curricula for Allied Health Profressions

7. Addressing health inequalities across allied health professional (AHP) services: a guide for AHP system leaders - GOV.UK ( 

This guidance was developed in collaboration with AHP leaders to support the planning, implementation and evaluation of actions to reduce health inequalities in AHP services. Chief Allied Health Professionals in ICBs and across the NHS have a responsibility to support the reduction in health inequalities. Whilst there is a commitment from AHPs to do this, it isn’t always easy to know where to start and what actions we should be taking at a system level.


This guide is intended as a practical tool to support AHP leaders to create an environment where addressing health inequalities is routinely incorporated into all aspects of service delivery. It complements the King’s Fund document tackling health inequalities framework for AHPs by building on the leadership and system aspects of the framework.


There are two sections to this guide:

  • Part 1: a 4-step approach to addressing health inequalities: this section supports AHP leaders to take a gradual approach to explore health inequalities in their local area and co-produce innovative interventions. It provides a method to systematically understand and respond to the needs of the population;
  • Part 2: change ideas: this section outlines 8 strategic change areas to help leaders reduce health inequalities across the breadth of AHP services. This section has been created following conversations with ICS, provider and Regional Chief AHPs to support AHP system leaders to ensure that consideration of health inequalities is embedded into the work they are already doing.


Health improvement

There is a web of complex factors operating as a block to being healthy including homelessness and poor housing, poverty, unemployment, social isolation, learning disability, mental illness and addiction. So, the challenge is how can members of the radiography workforce work to reduce these inequalities and stimulate positive health outcomes for all?
Radiographers, assistant practitioners, students and trainees, researchers, managers and educators all have a part to play in undertaking health promotion activities for the benefit of patients. In particular, radiation protection is a vital role for the radiography workforce and this is an area of health promotion and protection in which radiographers undoubtedly have acknowledged expertise.
Members of the imaging and radiotherapy workforces all have a part to play and this is a challenge to consider your role in this and how you could influence the choices made by patients with regard to health and well-being.

NHS Health Scotland provides an  e-learning module on physical activity

Available here:

The art of involving people in health innovation: 'Lessons and tips from the frontline' by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity

Making Every Contact Count Toolkit now available 

Making Every Contact Count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that utilises the millions of day-to-day interactions that organisations and people have with other people to encourage changes in behaviour that have a positive effect on the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and populations.  

The Long Term Conditions and Prevention programme team in Health Education England have worked with Health Education England elearning for healthcare (HEE elfh), to develop a Making Every Contact Count (MECC) toolkit.   The toolkit is populated with reviewed resources and information previously hosted on the making every contact count microsite and aims to support individual learners and organisations to use MECC resources effectively.  

The wider MECC elearning programme, consisting of 4 elearning sessions, supports learners with developing an understanding of public health, emphasising how asking questions and listening effectively to people is a vital role for us all.  The new toolkit compliments existing elearning sessions by bringing together a library of national and local resources to further support the development, evaluation and implementation of MECC.   

You can read more about the toolkit, including how to access it, by visiting the Making Every Contact Count programme page