Public health observatory

A public health observatory (PHO) is a public health and wellness project. It uses the word observatory, from astronomy, to emphasize a degree of detachment and objectivity in measuring well-being.

Public health, environmental health, diet, recreation, outdoor education, exercise and other concerns are explored by most public health observatories.

The London Health Observatory pioneered methods in measuring social capital and how this affects healing and health in general.

There was a network of public health observatories, one in each of the nine regions in England; there are also health observatories in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The National Obesity Observatory (NOO) and the Child and Maternal Health Observatory (ChiMat) are funded by the Department of Health to provide objective specialist expertise in their respective areas. There is also an Injury Observatory for Britain and Ireland (IOBI) and a Mental Health Observatory.

The Association of Public Health Observatories (APHO) represented the network of public health observatories across the UK and Ireland. It became part of Public Health England, along with all the English observatories except Lincolnshire on 1 April 2013. The Lincolnshire observatory continues with the support of the County Council.

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