There has been renewed recognition that proactive strategies and interventions can address the social determinants of health, and the environmental health profession is well placed to effect positive change in many of these determinants. This qualitative research has revealed differences in the perceptions, experiences, and understandings of evidence-based practice among public health professionals from different backgrounds across different services in health care and local government in England. The absence of a strong tradition of evidence-based practice in environmental health appears to be a disadvantage in securing funding and playing a full role, as it has become the expectation in the new public health system. This has, at times, resulted in tensions between professionals with different backgrounds and frustration on the part of environmental health practitioners, who have a tradition of responding quickly to new challenges and “getting on with the job.” There is generally a willingness to develop evidence-based practice in environmental health; however, this will take time and investment.
- environmental health
- public health
- social determinants of health
- evidence-based practice
- local government