Tuesday 20 January 2015

We're public health, we say what we want

This is a relatively minor lie by 'public health' standards, but telling nonetheless. Kevin Fenton is the director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England. Last week he informed his Twitter followers that...

The trouble is, if you check the source he cites, it doesn't say that at all. It says this:

For children aged ten years and under, the main sources of NMES [non-milk extrinsic sugars] were ‘non-alcoholic beverages’ (27-30%) and ‘cereals and cereal products’ (25-29%). For children aged 11 to 18 years, ‘non-alcoholic beverages’ was the largest contributor to NMES intake, providing 40%, mainly from soft drinks (30%). ‘Fruit juice’ contributed 10-14% to NMES intake in children across the age groups. ‘Sugar, preserves and confectionery’ contributed an additional 19-22% to intake for children.

The appendix shows the % of sugar that comes from fruit juice and soft drinks in detail (click to enlarge).

Call me a pedant if you must, but I've always been under the impression that a majority is any percentage above 50 per cent, and that figures like 27 per cent, 30 per cent and—if you count fruit juice as a 'sugary drink'—40 per cent are known as a 'minority'.

Never mind though, eh? Fenton only relieves the taxpayer of £175,000 a year to do this job.

For the record, here's what the other tireless public servants at this quango get paid..

Name Job title Professional qualifications How appointed Salary level
Duncan Selbie Chief Executive MSc Open competition £185,000 to £190,000

Lis Birrane Director of Communications NCTJ Proficiency Certificate PGDip Job matching £100,000 to £105,000
Michael Brodie Director of Finance and Commercial CPFA Open competition £105,000 to £110,000
Dr Paul Cosford Director for Health Protection and Medical Director MBBS MSc MRCPsych FFPHM Job matching £160,000 to £165,000
Dr Yvonne Doyle Regional Director MD MPH FRCPI FFPHM FFPHMI DCH Job matching £165,000 to £170,000
Professor Kevin Fenton Director of Health and Wellbeing MBBS MSc Dip GUM FFPH PHD Open competition £175,000 to £180,000
Richard Gleave Chief Operating Officer MSc Open competition £130,000 to £135,000
Dr Jenny Harries Regional Director MBChB MPH MBA PGDip PGCert FFPH FCMI Open competition £125,000 to £130,000
Professor Paul Johnstone Regional Director BM MSc MRCGP FFPH Job matching £180,000 to £185,000
Jonathan Marron Director of Strategy MBA Open competition £110,000 to £115,000
Dr Christine McCartney Director of Microbiology Services PhD MRCPath FRCPath Fixed term appointment £55,000 to £60,000
Stephen Morris Development Advisor None Secondment £120,000 to £125,000
Professor John Newton Chief Knowledge Officer MBBS MRCP MS Open competition £165,000 to £170,000
Dr Rashmi Shukla Regional Director BM FRCP FFPH Job matching £165,000 to £170,000
Alex Sienkiewicz Chief of Staff None Secondment £110,000 to £115,000
Tony Vickers-Byrne Director of Human Resources FCIPD DMS PGCE Masters in Workforce Planning Job matching £100,000 to £105,000
Sally Warren Director of Programmes None Open competition £80,000 to £85,000



Christopher Snowdon said...

Blimey! Nice work if you can get it! £175K? A year? Just for telling porkies? Where do I sign up?

Christopher Snowdon said...

It is notable that the most useful person on this list and the only genuine scientist, is paid the least. Christine McCartney heads up the microbiology service, which comprises an ever shrinking group of laboratories that test patient samples for pathogens. It is always under funded and hard pressed in common with many of our front line health services. That is possibly because of the huge amount wasted on the useless mouths who populate much of this list.

It really is quite disgusting that we are forced to pay £175K a year plus to a man incapable of performing basic mathematical operations.

Christopher Snowdon said...

The chart shows that there is a spike in the 11-18 age ranges for both genders, then decrease in the 19-64 range, and even lower in the 65+. All this shows is that pubertal kids require more energy to make bodily changes, something which is shunned, contributing to the sky rocketing rates of anorexia, bulimia and hospitalizations for these.

Also, as you get older, sometimes a nice, mellow cup of tea is all that's required.