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Tameside's public health director steps down to take on new role

Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy. Image: Tameside Council.

Tameside's public health director has stepped down from her post to become England's new deputy chief medical officer. 

Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy has led the borough's response to the coronavirus pandemic and has been President of the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) since 2018. 

In her new Whitehall-based role, she will have responsibility for jointly leading the new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) - along with Jonathan Marron, director general for public health at the Department of Health and Social Care.

She will report jointly to Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty. 

The government says the new body, which will officially launch on 1 October, will lead national efforts to improve and 'level up' the health of the nation by tackling obesity, improving mental health and promoting physical activity.

As well as stepping down from her Tameside role, she will also leave her post as Chair of the Greater Manchester Association of Directors of Public Health.

Dr de Gruchy said: "I am honoured to have been appointed as Deputy Chief Medical Officer and grateful for the opportunity to jointly lead the new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities as it begins its work to improve and level up the health of the nation.

"It has been a privilege to serve as President of ADPH and work with such a fantastic Board, Council, membership and staff team to promote and support Directors of Public Health. I have been inspired by the expertise, professionalism and commitment of fellow DsPH, especially during the response to COVID-19.

"I look forward to working with the ADPH team and DsPH in my new role." 

She has also thanked her colleagues at Tameside Council and the positive reaction to her new appointment. 

Dr de Gruchy tweeted: "Thank you for all the hugely positive and hope-filled responses to my appointment, they’re much appreciated. Public health is collective effort, and I very much look forward to continuing to work with all of you to make positive change happen.

"I’d like especially to thank the fantastic Tameside Council, chief executive Steven Pleasant, Debbie Watson, Association of Directors of Public Health, Nicola Close and Jim McManus. You’re all amazing, here’s to our ongoing collaboration." 

Originally from South Africa, she was previously Director of Public Health at the London Borough of Haringey from 2010 to 2018, and Chair of the London Association of Directors of Public Health. Prior to that, she was Deputy Director of Public Health at Nottingham City NHS Primary Care Trust.

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