New public health chief appointed at county council

The head of public health at East Sussex County Council is moving on to pastures new – with her deputy appointed to the role in an acting capacity.

Diana Grice, director of public health, has left the authority to take up a new post as director of the Thames Valley Public Health England Centre.

She said: “I have enjoyed working with the county council and clinical commissioning groups to improve the health of residents in East Sussex and I’m pleased there have been improvements in infection control, smoking cessation and vaccination uptake.

“I believe the county council is in a good position to successfully undertake its new leadership role for public health in partnership with the NHS, local councils and the voluntary sector.”

The council’s deputy director of public health, Cynthia Lyons, has taken over as acting director until the post is appointed permanently.

Ms Lyons started her career in public health in 1987 in the Department of Community Medicine at Brighton General Hospital and over the course of her career has worked in all areas of public health. Previously she was director of public health for Sussex Downs and Weald Primary Care Trust.

She said: “I’m delighted to be taking on my new role and am looking forward to maximising the opportunities which come with the move of public health from the NHS to local government.

“I am keen to develop and maintain positive and productive relationships across the health and social care system so that we all work together to protect and improve the health of our population and reduce health inequality.”

Ms Lyons will lead a team of public health specialists who provide specialist advice and commission a wide range of services to protect and improve the health of East Sussex residents.