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Speaker Biography

Mary Kiddy

As well as being appointed as the Chair of the Child Public Health SIG with the UKPHA, Mary is Acting Associate Director and Consultant Nurse for Public Health with NHS Central Lancashire. Mary’s route to this role has evolved over the last 30+years from a background in general nursing and sick children’s nursing, but predominantly from school nursing. In 1988 school nursing provided Mary her first real public health role, and was hooked! Mary saw the demise of ‘Nitty Norah’ and over time developed expertise in health promotion, Personal Health and Social Education, asthma care and immunisation. She went on to become a team leader and then Professional Lead for School Nursing, picking up valuable leadership and management skills on the way. During this time Mary was a co-opted school governor for a large girls school in south-east London. She was also an active member of the Amalgamated School Nurses Association and went on to become the vice-chair of the uni-professional CPHVA School Nursing Committee.

Looking for a new challenge Mary was appointed as the Teenage Pregnancy Coordinator in Calderdale, West Yorkshire in 2001, soon after the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy was published by the Social Exclusion Unit and gained experience in working with young parents and the VCFS, and in community engagement. Mary really began to appreciate the impact of the wider determinants of health, and the importance of partnership working and effective commissioning. After this she was lucky to be appointed as a Consultant Nurse for Public Health for Preston PCT in 2005 which gave her a wider platform for developing the public health roles of community nurses. This role has now been combined with moving out of the Provider Arm into an exciting niche in public health and health protection, working at a strategic partnership level.

Mary is a strong advocate for children’s voices to be heard. She is committed to ensuring that infants, children and young people are afforded their equal rights to health and healthcare, as well as the fundamental right to be seen as active and important members of the communities in which they live, love, learn and play. Mary strongly believes that “child health inequalities are rooted in child poverty and that we will not reduce them effectively until we combat poverty. There must be a renewed focus on child and family friendly policy implementation and commissioning for social justice over the next decade”.