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Introduction - Environmental Health Officers Association

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					Introduction
This memorandum sets out a framework of co-operation between the Health
Service Executive (HSE) and the Environmental Health Officers’ Association
(EHOA).

The Memorandum recognises the common goals of both organisations in the
promotion of environmental health and to heighten the awareness of environmental
health issues among the public. The Memorandum expresses a common
understanding between the two parties to engage in mutual responsibility for training,
research, education and dissemination of information in relation to environmental
health matters.

This Memorandum of Understanding does not in any way prejudice any ownership or
underlying intellectual property rights that may subsist in either organisation or its
representatives, its employees, or any other person.


Health Services Executive (HSE)
The Health Service Executive was established on the 1st January 2005 and replaced
the former structure of 10 regional Health Boards, the Eastern Regional Health
Authority and a number of different agencies and organizations.

The six corporate objectives are:
   1. Health and Wellbeing
   2. Trust and Confidence
   3. Sustainable Services
   4. Quality and Safety
   5. Operational Excellence
   6. Unlocking and Potential

The HSE is responsible for managing and delivering health and personal social
services in Ireland.

The HSE has 3 clearly defined areas of operation:
   1. Integrated Services Directorate (ISD)
   2. Quality and Clinical Care Directorate
   3. Support Services

The services are divided into three service delivery units:-

1. The Integrated Services Directorate has responsibility for the delivery,
reconfiguration, performance and financial management of all health and personal
social services.

2. The Quality and Clinical Care Directorate strengths clinical leadership and
improves clinical performance as well as supporting the working relationship between
clinicians and managers across the organisation.
3. The Support Services of Estates, Legal Services, Contracts, Procurement and
Information Communication Technology (ICT) together form the Commercial and
Support Services Directorate.


Environmental Health Officers’ Association (EHOA)
The Environmental Health Officer Association was established in 1949 to

    Promote environmental health and to heighten the awareness of environmental
     health issues among members and the public.
    Work with Government departments and professional institutions in the
     promotion of environmental health issues.
    Organise fund and maintain initiatives for the purpose of promoting
     environmental health.

The EHOA administrative structure comprises of a four member officer board who
report to a central council. There are over 550 members / people affiliated at either
membership, associate membership or fellowship level. The Association provide and
validate courses in food hygiene for food workers, and managers of catering
establishments.

The EHOA is a founding member of the International Federation of Environmental
Health and has been active both in Ireland and internationally through the awarding of
bursaries, production of education material and promotion of training and
development

There is a long history within the organisation of mutual cooperation in the promotion
of environmental health initiatives aimed at improving regulatory framework and
enabling citizens’ access better environmental health status.

The HSE and EHOA in recognition of their mutual commitment to serve the
community in the promotion of environmental health issues are entering into this
Memorandum of Understanding in order to establish a framework for engagement for
the two parties


Purpose
The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to identify best methods and
technologies for the promotion of environmental health, to share experience between
the two parties and combine strengths in best achieving objectives in a cost effective
and efficient manner.


Problems
Exposure to a diverse range of factors can impinge on environmental health. The
risks from these factors are difficult to assess and therefore for the Memorandum of
Understanding to be most effective it will be important to identify and focus on those
risk factors most likely to have the greatest impact on the general population or
specific sub-sets of the population.
General Principles of Cooperation
The HSE and the EHOA jointly affirm their commitment, in the interest of serving the
community in promoting better environmental health status, to developing effective
working relations so as to ensure relevant issues are focused on in an effective
manner.

Officials shall maintain regular contact both (formal and informal) in order to discuss
business of mutual interest. It is recognised that good communications are essential to
ensuring effectiveness within and between both organisations.


Operation and Review of the Memorandum of Understanding
The HSE and EHOA are committed to resolving any disagreement under this
Memorandum of Understanding through normal administrative channels.

This Memorandum will be kept under regular review at intervals to be agreed
between the parties and updated in the light of experience of its operation and
practice. Amendments to this Memorandum may be made at any time by agreement
between the parties


Scope of Understanding
Themes that fall within the scope of the Memorandum include:

      Mutual cooperation in developing education and information campaigns for
       improvements in environmental health.
      Promotion of the importance and relevance of the interconnections between
       environment and health to quality of life issues, sense of place, health and well
       being, social inclusion, economic development and sustainability.
      Awarding certification for approved courses.
      Accreditation /certification of courses (for industry and general public) which
       aim to promote better environmental health status.
      Accreditation forum for post graduate training / qualifications/CPD for EHO’s
      Development of specialised EH training programmes.
      Support and promote evidence based research on EH issues.
      Promoting high standards of professional competence training, experience and
       qualification.
      Actively work towards the implementation of a National Environmental
       Health Action Plan (NEHAP).
      Promotion of sustainable environmental health practices within
       government/industry/ home environment through collaboration with statutory
       and other agencies.
      Advocate for health improvement and highlight / raise awareness of
       environmental threats.
      Collaboration/ partnership and developing common work programmes.
      Co-operation in the development and progression of professional practice.
      Be proactive in identifying and developing strategies for emerging threats e.g.
       epidemics/pandemics, climate change.
      Develop centres of excellence in key areas of environmental health.
      Promote sustainable development and Local Agenda 21.
      Progress environmental improvement at local level through community and
       like minded groups
      Develop best practice through environmental health standards and guidance.
      Sponsorship of educational awards for good environmental health practices
      The establishment of advisory/consultative committees to assist both parties to
       deliver on their objectives.

Both parties shall maintain full right title and interest in any intellectual property right
in any work product developed solely by them under this Memorandum.

Signatories


--------------------------                     -------------------------
Martin Devine                                  Shane Keane
Assistant National Director HSE                Chairman EHOA

Dated the 20th December, 2010

				
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