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About us

Erpho (the East of England Public Health Observatory) provides health intelligence products, services and training. Our mission is to support commissioning in health with authoritative, independent, and top quality analysis and interpretation of population-based data.

There are 12 Public Health Observatories (PHOs) working across the five nations of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The nine PHOs in England work together through a single work programme which contains both national and local elements. We produce information, data and intelligence on people's health and health care for practitioners, policy makers and the wider community. Our expertise lies in turning information and data into meaningful health intelligence to support decision-makers.

On behalf of the Department of Health, erpho works in partnership with the NHS, local authorities, researchers, and national and local agencies such as the Eastern Cancer Registry and Information Centre and the HPA Regional Epidemiology Unit. Erpho’s national lead areas are Primary Care, Respiratory Disease and Sustainable Development.

Specialist units within erpho include the Monitoring Unit for Substances in the East (MUSE) and the Child Public Health Intelligence Team (CPHIT).

Quality Intelligence East (QIE) is a hosted unit reporting on the quality of healthcare across the East of England.

Erpho is hosted by NHS Cambridgeshire.


  Dr Julian Flowers has been the director of erpho since Nov 2008 and is also the director of the East of England Quality Observatory. After training as a general physician, Julian then trained in public health and spent the early part of his career in acute and specialised services. He developed an interest in health technology assessment and evidence-based care. In recent years he has become increasingly interested in the role and use of information in improving health and healthcare quality. He has been involved in PHO development for the past ten years.

  Dr John Battersby is a consultant in public health medicine and has been the Medical Director at erpho since October 2009. He previously worked as Director of Public Health in Norfolk. After qualifying, John undertook GP vocational training and then worked in general practice before moving abroad to spend several years running a primary care programme in North Africa. John leads on a number of areas of the Observatory’s work including primary care.

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