Sandwell Public Health - My life course

Posted on Monday 19th May 2014

John Middleton, the longest serving Director of Public Health until his retirement earlier this year, reflects on his career

"When I first came to Sandwell in 1987 it was in the depths of recession. In health services there was no local mental health service, no palliative care, much general practice was single handed out of shop fronts. Waiting lists for basic elective procedures could be up to four years. Over half the population was living in poverty. There were 120 high-rise blocks and nearly fifty thousand council houses. Less than half of all children were immunized against measles and other childhood immunizations were less than satisfactory.

Health services were implementing general management, grappling with overspending or underfunding crises, and the purchaser-provider split would be the next big thing....."

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