BACAPH officially came into being at the launch event on 1st October 2013. At an exciting conference held at the RCPCH, the high profile speakers, Michael Marmot, John Frank, Jonathan Bradshaw and Naomi Eisenstadt, brilliantly and cohesively addressed the title of the conference : Investing in the Future, the Importance of Child Public Health, while Alison Baum, CEO of Best Beginnings, enthralled with her description of evidenced based interventions to reduce child health inequalities.

A multi-disciplinary, full-house audience enjoyed the plenary sessions and a lot of networking took place. We were delighted to be joined on the day by Hilary Cass and John Ashton, Presidents of the RCPCH and FPH, respectively, which reflected their full support for this initiative. A vibrant discussion session at the end, facilitated by the two Co-Chairs of BACAPH, Ingrid Wolfe and Simon Lenton, raised many new ideas from the audience, which hopefully the reformed and expanded executive committee will be able to take forward.

Over the last two years, BACAPH has evolved from CPHIG, the Child Public Health Interest Group, which came into being after an article by Mitch Blair about the importance of child public health, some 17 years ago. CPHIG had joint membership between RCPCH and FPH, and benefitted greatly during those years from being affiliated to BACCHBACCH, the British Association of Community Child Health. Those relationships will continue, and evolve, but, most importantly, the plan is for BACAPH to be open to all researchers, clinicians and practitioners, no matter their discipline, who have an interest in child and adolescent public health. It will be an independent organisation for all professionals and aims to represent the whole of the UK, no matter the often vastly differing policies in the different member countries.

So what else is exciting? Definitely the fact that it BACAPH comes into being at a critical time. Many reports highlight the poor outcomes for UK children compared to other countries, and there is an increasing realisation of the economic imperative to invest at the beginning of the life course. Also exciting is the new dynamic leadership and the talented membership of the expanded BACAPH executive committee. Some positions still remain, particularly to achieve a good representation from each of the four nations. If you want to get involved please contact the committee.

It is great to be able to stand down at this exciting time. I’ve been a CPHIG Co-chair for over 5 years, but the other Co-chair, John Harvey has served valiantly for even longer, having been voted in for a second term. I thank him for all his support and quiet wisdom in the past.

Jane Ritchie
Immediate past CPHIG co-chair

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