Press release -

Department of Health: ‘Food Dudes’ wins Gold at Chief Medical Officer's Public Health Awards 2010

Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer, has announced the winners of the Chief Medical Officer’s Public Health Awards 2010. The awards, held at the Royal College of Physicians in London on Wednesday night, celebrate the dedication, innovation and passion shown by those working in the public health arena.

The Gold, Silver and Bronze award medals feature portraits of previous Chief Medical Officers. ‘Food Dudes’, a Wolverhampton-based project, won the Gold medal which features the first Chief Medical Officer Sir John Simon. The Silver medal, featuring Sir George Godber, went to the Isle of Wight initiative ‘Pharmacy Fix’. The Bronze medal, with the portrait of wartime CMO Sir Wilson Jameson, was awarded to national charity ‘StreetGames’.

Congratulating all the winners, Sir Liam Donaldson said:

“It is my great pleasure to announce the winners of the Chief Medical Officer’s Public Health Awards for 2010. This is only the second year of the awards, and I am delighted that the submissions maintained the high standard set last year. We received a wide range of important and inspiring entries, ranging from small, community-based projects to national initiatives run by large organisations and charities. All the finalists are truly inspirational, and their projects are beacons of good practice in the field of public health.”

Food Dudes, developed by psychologists at Bangor University, is an initiative to encourage and maintain healthy eating habits in children. It is a city-wide project to help combat the high rates of childhood obesity in Wolverhampton. Launched in January 2009, Food Dudes aims to benefit 20,000 children over a three-year period. The project’s goal is to increase and sustain fruit and vegetable consumption in four-to-eleven year olds, so that eating fruit and vegetables is the norm throughout life. In the first year of delivery, 22 schools and 5,000 children have accessed the programme. Initial research in six participating schools found that children increase their fruit consumption by 54 per cent and vegetable consumption by 48 per cent.

Dr Adrian Phillips, director of public health for Wolverhampton, said: “Food Dudes helps children to eat healthily and is a really exciting and fun way to encourage them to eat more fruit and vegetables. We’re extremely proud of the difference we’ve made to children in Wolverhampton, and that our efforts have been recognised through this national award.”

Pharmacy Fix, an Isle of Wight project, focuses on helping injecting drug users, who are at a high risk of blood borne virus infections but are difficult to engage and reach. Community pharmacists were trained to screen, counsel and offer vaccination for injecting drug users. Initially developed to test for hepatitis B and C and offer vaccination against hepatitis B, the project was extended to include HIV and syphilis testing. As a result of the programme’s success, pharmacists have been part of a collaborative effort in two other vaccination campaigns – seasonal influenza and H1N1 vaccination to the under 5 years patient group. The model may soon be extended to integrate pharmacists into childhood immunisation programme.

StreetGames is a national charity dedicated to raising physical activity levels in the 20 per cent most disadvantaged communities in England and Wales. It has recruited 3,000 leaders and 3,000 volunteers to act as mentors in their own neighbourhood, inspiring younger children to get active in dance, sport, cycling and a range of activities. The charity provides expertise, training and connections. Since April 2007 there have been over 1 million attendances at 111 StreetGames physical activity projects amongst young people aged 10-18 years.  This is expected to exceed 2 million by December 2010.


Notes to Editors

1. Other finalists were:

  • Big Bolton Health Check - was designed to reduce cardiovascular deaths in Bolton, as life expectancy in Bolton is 2.5 years worse than the England average, with cardiovascular disease the major contributor. The project offers free health checks to all residents aged over 45 years to determine their risk of developing cardiovascular diseases over the next 10 years and then works with them to reduce this risk. From April 2008 to March 2009, 73,000 people (82 per cent of the population) were screened. Over 19,000 patients at high risk were identified, including 870 new diagnoses of diabetes mellitus and 2,150 people with cardiovascular disease.
  • Liverpool Healthy Homes Programme - was launched in April 2009 and aims to reduce health inequalities. Prioritising areas by need, trained advocates knock on doors, engage residents and make direct referrals to a diverse network of partners. The goal is to visit 15,000 homes. The first year saw 5,000 homes visited. This led to 998 environmental health inspections to remove housing hazards, generating £1.3 million in additional private sector investment. Almost 5,000 referrals were also made for fire safety checks, engagement or re-engagement of residents with doctors, dentists and other health practitioners, contact with drug and alcohol support agencies and advice given on healthy eating, nutrition, fuel poverty and employment.
  • MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it!) empowers and inspires children and adults to lead fitter, healthier and happier lives. It tackles overweight and obesity through coordinated community-level delivery of treatment, prevention and training. MEND has impacted 36,000 programme participants, trained 5,000 frontline professionals and reached 230,000 children with physical activity campaigns. MEND’s 20-year research partnership with University College London Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital led to a successful randomised controlled trial demonstrating significant improvements in physical and psychological health.
  • Mobile Food Store was established in August 2008 to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables in Great Yarmouth and Waveney. Locations were identified using population segmentation data to indicate those areas where people were least likely to eat fruit and vegetables. Experienced health trainers deliver the service and support behaviour change by providing recipe sheets, taster sessions, advice on healthy eating and referrals to other lifestyle services. The Mobile Food Store has seen up to 850 customers in a month. An evaluation six months after initiation demonstrated that customers increased their average fruit and vegetable intake by more than one portion per day.

2. The judging panel consisted of:

Chair: Professor John Newton, Regional director of Public Health South Central, and honorary chair in public health and epidemiology at the University of Manchester

Dr Mary Armitage – Consultant endocrinologist, previous clinical vice-president, Royal College of Physicians, current clinical advisor to the Department of Health, and Medical Director, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Foundation Trusts

Professor Steve Field – Chairman of Council, Royal College of General Practitioners and general practitioner at Bellevue Medical Centre, Birmingham

Dr Ben Goldacre – Author of ‘Bad Science’ and research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Sheila Shribman – National Clinical Director for Children, Young People and Maternity Services, Department of Health


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