North Yorkshire hands on the baton for public health leadership

This story was published 7 December 2020

North Yorkshire is thanking its Director of Public Health, Dr Lincoln Sargeant, who is moving to a new post in the South West of England after eight years in the county.

Lincoln and Louise

Dr Sargeant has been instrumental in establishing and leading the county’s Public Health service since the transfer of responsibilities from the NHS to local government in April 2013. He is moving to become the new Director of Public Health for Torbay, in a board-level post, which also has a formal lead role for prevention within the Devon Integrated Care System.

Louise Wallace will take up the post in North Yorkshire as interim Director of Public Health on 12 December. Louise was Director of Public Health for Hartlepool from 2012 to 2017 and is currently Assistant Director for Health and Integration in North Yorkshire. She will continue with her Health and Integration responsibilities, as part of the director role.

Richard Webb, North Yorkshire County Council’s Corporate Director of Health and Adult Services, paid tribute to the work of Dr Sargeant and for the positive contribution he has made to developing the role of public health in the county. He said: “I am sure everyone will join me in thanking Lincoln for his crucial work over the last few years and in wishing him well for his future in the South West.”

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, added: “It has been a privilege to work with Lincoln as the Executive Member for Public Health and I thank him for his patience, professionalism and friendship. I wish him good luck as he takes the next step in his career.”

Dr Sargeant has played a key role in developing and improving North Yorkshire’s nationally mandated public health services, such as sexual health and substance misuse. He has also played an important role in creating, funding and supporting critical prevention programmes, such as Stronger Communities; Living Well; Discoveries on your Doorstep, which encouraged people to follow walk trails to improve physical and mental health; falls prevention and adult weight management.

“More recently of course,” Richard Webb added, “Lincoln has worked hard in providing public health leadership and expertise as we respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are grateful for his all of his endeavours.

“We are also pleased that Louise Wallace will be bringing her extensive experience to the Director of Public Health for our county. Louise has played a critical role in working with NHS colleagues over the last few years and during the pandemic has been a core part of our Covid-19 response team on issues such as securing more local testing within the county. She was Hartlepool’s first Director of Public Health, where she took on the challenging role of tackling health inequalities and significant health issues in the area.

“Louise takes on this role at a critical time for public health in North Yorkshire. At this stage in the pandemic, after many long months, we must maintain our resolve and support for people in reducing the infection rate and therefore helping to save lives, delivering effective outbreak management and preparing for mass vaccination.  Louise will take on this role with her usual upbeat energy and ability as a first-rate team player and effective leader.”