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22 October 2002



Plymouth’s Director of Public Health has won an award that highlights her leadership role in improving the health of Plymouth’s population.

Debra Lapthorne, who works for the Plymouth Primary Care Trust, is this year’s winner of the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association Charitable Trust Excellence in Leadership Award.

Ms Lapthorne is the first health visitor in England to hold the post of Director of Public Health in the new primary care trust (PCT) set-up – there are now more than 300 PCTs in England.

One of the key factors for the judges was Ms Lapthorne’s work with a number of partners in the development of Plymouth’s Health Action Zone (HAZ), which has channelled more than £7m into the city to improve the health of Plymouth’s poorest communities.

She will receive a £1,500 personal award and £1,000 to develop her work at the CPHVA’s annual conference in Harrogate (31 October- 2 November 2002).

The trust was set up following a bequest from Dr Ian MacQueen, a medical officer of health in Aberdeen in the 1950’s and a lifetime supporter of the role of health visitors in public health.

The CPHVA chair, Pauline Pearson said: ‘Debra’s innovative leadership skills are of the highest order. Her contribution in helping create Plymouth’s HAZ is an inspired example that should be followed throughout the UK. The high regard she is held in by her colleagues was very evident to us.’

Other shortlisted candidates were:

Rosin Burns, Director of Elderly and Primary Care, Craigavon Banbridge Community Health and Social Services Trust, Northern Ireland, and Anne Harris, a health visitor, Banff and Buchan Local Health Care Co-operative, Scotland.

Ms Burns, who has worked for the trust for the last 20 years, was nominated for her "creative and visionary policies" that she has implemented in primary health care.

Ms Harris has taken the lead in a number of initiatives where parents have been involved in the decision making process to ensure the service is meeting their needs.



Attached with this email is a full copy of the CPHVA’s evidence.

Our evidence looks at some of the specific issues for the 22,000 community practitioners and community nurses represented by the CPHVA, the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association (CPNA) and amicus-MSF. This year for the first time we also raise specific issues relating to 8,000 members of the National Association of Theatre Nurses (NATN), a professional body for nurses and theatre staff working in a preoperative environment.

For further information, please contact:

Barrie Brown, CPHVA Head of Labour Relations ( 07798 53 10 22

Colin Adkins ( 020 7505 3167

Research Officer, CPHVA/amicus-MSF health section

Shaun Noble Communications Officer ( 020 7939 7043

mobile ( 07768 69 39 40

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site:

The CPHVA represents 18,000 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the amicus trade union. MSF joined with the AEEU to form amicus, the UK’s second largest union, on 1 January 2002.



For further information, please contact

Shaun Noble Press Officer (020) 7939 7043 Mobile 0468 69 39 40 MSF

press releases can be seen on our web site:

Amicus/MSF represents 65,000 health service professionals including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, laboratory scientific staff, the College of Health Care Chaplains, the Community Psychiatric Nurses Association, the Medical Practitioners' Union, clinical psychologists, speech therapists, the Hospital Physicists Association and the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association.

Amicus/MSF has 400,000 skilled and professional members in a wide range of industries. It is the UK's second largest union.