Heather Downey

Health and Wellbeing Specialist

Heather Downey is a specialist in work, health and wellbeing projects. She has worked at senior levels in the public, private and third sectors in the UK across health, skills, regeneration and environmental organisations.

Career highlights include design, development and management of one of the national Fit for Work pilots, and the development of this into a sustainable service commissioned by Clinical Commissioning Groups and local Public Health services. She has also designed and managed a range of programmes supporting unemployed individuals for whom health is their primary barrier in being able to engage effectively in looking for employment. A passionate believer in ‘joining things up’, Heather has worked with local and national structures to make the strategic linkages between economic development, health and welfare support.

Heather has a longstanding commitment to local NHS governance structures, with a particular focus on working age patient and public involvement. She has also been involved in various research studies into the effectiveness of Fit Notes, particularly with respect to employer response. More widely she has been involved in education and specialist college governance.

Current interests include improving the linkages between the environmental conservation and health sectors, with assignments including working with the Wildlife Trusts on a number of projects which demonstrate the linkages between health and the environment.