Dr Justin Varney (Director of Public Health at Birmingham City Council)

November 2019

This episode features Dr Justin Varney. who is Director of Public Health for Birmingham City Council.

An interesting fact about this episode is that despite being in the beautiful City Council Building in Birmingham, we recorded this in the private toilet of the Chief Executive, due to the ceilings in all other rooms being too high, even if they are beautiful! You may also hear the Birmingham seagulls in the background if you listen carefully!

Justin is responsible for protecting and improving the health of about 1.2 million citizens. He has had a varied and diverse career since training as a GP in East London and then specialising into Public Health Medicine. Justin has worked at local, regional, national and international levels of the public health system on topics ranging from pandemic flu resilience for non-health business to developing social marketing campaigns for healthy lifestyles.

His previous roles include the National Lead for Adult Health for Public Health England, Policy and Strategy lead at the Prince’s Business Charity – Business at the Community and Thinker in Residence at the University of Sydney (great title!). Justin has a special interest in minority health issues, especially affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people, physical activity, work and health issues and domestic violence.

This episode really demonstrates why Justin is thought of as a thought leader in public health as well as finishing with his own tips on using behavioural science to survive Christmas!

Enjoy and as always, please send feedback about this or past shows and make any suggestions of people you would like to see featured!