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Leading Cheshire public health figure joins the University

People sat in lecture room

One of the region’s leading experts in public health will share his extensive knowledge at the University of Chester. 

Professor Ian Ashworth, who was appointed Director of Public Health for Cheshire West and Chester Council in June 2017, will take the role of Visiting Professor in the University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care. 

Ian has a background in delivering successful health improvement programmes within local authorities and NHS Trusts across the North West. He received a Master’s of Public Health Degree in 2009 and commenced specialist public health training in Greater Manchester in 2010. 

Joining Salford City Council in 2014, he was the prevention and community assets lead for the internationally recognised Salford Together Integrated Care programme. 

As Director of Public Health for Cheshire West and Chester, Ian led the borough-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic from the start. 

During the pandemic Ian was appointed to the Chair for the Cheshire and Merseyside Public Health Collaborative and was the lead for the Cheshire Local Resilience Forum, providing strategic public health advice to the Strategic Co-ordinating Group for Cheshire and Warrington.

Through Ian’s leadership, his team was chosen nationally as one of only 11 beacon councils for leading the blueprint for outbreak management for local areas. His work led to significant national and local media communications, publications and influencing of national policy for improving COVID-19 management programmes and services during the last two years. 

Ian is now the lead Director of Public Health for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside Population Health programme, which recently included the production of the innovative All Together Fairer Marmot Community Strategy with the Institute of Health Equity. 

Professor Angela Simpson, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University of Chester, said:

“Having Professor Ashworth as a Visiting Professor at the University of Chester is great news for both our students and staff.  

“They will be able to learn so much from Ian’s real-life experience of public health, including his work during one of the most challenging periods for public health in recent times.” 

Ian added:

“It is a great privilege for me to take on this role and builds on a fantastic history of joint working between the University of Chester and Cheshire West and Chester Council, which I’m particularly proud of.

“Joint projects include promoting the health and wellbeing of students joining our communities, helping make nights out safer and building an age-friendly society, on top of training amazing future public health nurses and our health and care workforce with the new Chester Medical School.

“The University has also played a pivotal role with us through the pandemic, promoting the safe return of students and helping to provide vaccination clinics in the heart of our communities. 

“I look forward to strengthening this partnership further as we continue our work to make the city and wider borough a place where everyone can live longer, healthier and happier lives.”

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