With a career encompassing posts in the NHS, local government, the private sector and charity, Croydon’s new director of public health brings a wealth of experience to the role.
Rachel Flowers comes to Croydon following a spell as health adviser to a major north London development company where she has been successful in positioning health and well-being input and expertise at the start of development of the largest regeneration programme in the UK.
As a deputy director with Public Health England, she worked to a national brief within an organisational development team for more than 18 months, providing public health advice and expertise on a range of internal and external products, and was part of the design team for an innovative leadership programme with local government and the NHS.
While a member of the health team of the Greater London Authority, Rachel had dual accountability to both the planning and health teams with the remit of integrating health into planning at a Greater London level.
She was joint director of public health for Newham Council for almost five years, in post at the time of the London Olympic Games, and was England’s first environmental health officer to be appointed a director of public health.
Looking forward to taking up her new role in Croydon early in the new year, Rachel said: “I’m excited by the prospect of working in a borough that places public health at the top of any agenda.
“Croydon’s work in public health is well documented, being both a British Heart Foundation Heart Town and also one of only two Food Flagship boroughs in the capital.
“I see my role as changing the conversation about health and well-being, and firmly embedding it within Croydon Council and all its stakeholders. I might not even use the word ‘health’.
“What I want more than anything is to work with all to reduce health inequalities and improve the health of the people of Croydon.”
Nathan Elvery, the council’s chief executive, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to announce the appointment of somebody of the calibre of Rachel Flowers.
“She has an incredible breadth of experience, across a number of disciplines and environments, and is certain to have a lasting, positive impact on the health of the people of Croydon when she takes up her post.”