The Environmental Public Health Surveillance System (EPHSS)

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Hello all and welcome to the Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Community of Practice (CoP) on Knowledge Hub. The work shown in this CoP is managed by the Environmental Epidemiology Group (EEG) within Public Health England (PHE).

EPHSS is a comprehensive surveillance system for environmental events, hazards and chemical incidents. It provides the essential information required for a health risk assessment to take place. It is the first integrated environmental exposure surveillance system for public health in England. The system allows you to share data securely with authorised users. You can search for and download data, as well as automatically generate reports and maps.

In England, no integrated population-based surveillance existed that incorporates routinely gathered data on different aspects of environmental hazards/exposures and facilitates applying public health principles and measures to reduce harm-based evidence. However, over the past few years the development of EPHSS allows us to collate and integrate this data within the system to provide users with a more complete picture.

EPHSS hosts several different modules including:

  • Surveillance of environmental events including chemical incidents where PHE has given public health advice
  • The Lead Exposure in Children Surveillance System (LEICSS), providing statistics on the epidemiology of lead exposure in children in England
  • An interface with Met Office weather databases that allows users to request and download meteorological or weather-related data from the Met Office

Currently, EPHSS is being rolled out to internal users within PHE but we are working towards releasing it to external users too. Over the next year, we are also hoping to release a help document for the Met Office module which is fairly large and detailed. A surveillance report based on data collated in EPHSS has also been initiated, where the uses of this exciting project will be detailed via case studies and surveillance outputs.

To learn more about this system, click here. You can also read about it more in our Environmental Public Health Tracking Report.


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