Health boss Sue takes on new role

A COUNTY health boss is expanding her role to take on more responsibilities.

Director of Public Health Sue Milner, who is jointly appointed by Northumberland Care Trust and Northumberland County Council, is responsible for promoting the health of residents.

But now she will add public protection functions to her portfolio, taking on responsibility for services such as trading standards, animal health, environmental health, animal welfare, pest control, licensing and building control.

It is believed to be one of the first times such a director has taken on the expanded role and pre-empts the shift in responsibility for public health from the NHS to local councils, as set out in Government white papers.

Prof Milner said: “I am delighted to be taking on the new role of looking after public protection in Northumberland and supporting our local communities through the promotion of public health and well-being and the protection of the natural and built environment.

“Local authorities were originally set up to address threats to public health and we are now returning that responsibility to local authorities. This new role demonstrates Northumberland County Council’s commitment to promoting the health and well-being of its residents.”

Council Chief Executive Steve Stewart said: “This new appointment shows the continued importance that the council and care trust attach to partnership working in order to improve public health and create healthier communities.

“This is a significant and important new post, but Sue has a wealth of experience and an outstanding track record, which will stand her in good stead for the challenges ahead. We welcome her to the team.”