May 2013:Donna Athanasopoulos, PHRU Information & Publications Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) is one of 14 regional NHS Boards in Scotland. We provide health services to approximately 1.2 million people and employ around 44,000 staff. We are the largest NHS organisation in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK.

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Donna Athanasopoulos

I’ve worked for NHSGGC in a variety of posts for almost thirty years. Starting off in Acute Services as an administrator at the Royal Beatson Memorial Hospital, I worked for five years in the hospital before going to live in Greece.

When I returned to Glasgow, I worked as Project Officer for Glasgow 2000, the Smoking Prevention Programme which aimed to make Glasgow a no smoking city by the year 2000. It was an interesting job and offered lots of opportunities to travel throughout the UK and abroad promoting the project. One of our main areas of work was Glasgow Smoke Busters which encouraged children to learn about the implications of smoking for their future health and involved going out to schools and getting children involved in smoke free events and activities. We were also involved in a campaign to have Smoking in Public places banned in Glasgow and encouraged local cafes and restaurants to become smoke free, this was before the Smoking ban was introduced in Scotland in 2006.

I’ve worked in my current post as Information & Publications Manager within the Public Health Directorate for around fifteen years and job share with my colleague Frances MacDonald. Frances and I manage a great team of Library and Information specialists, and our remit as the Information Management Team is to provide access to high quality health information to clients within the NHSGGC area.

We provide:

  • Library services, including literature searches and current awareness bulletins
  • Online Directory of Public Health/Health Improvement publications www.phru.net/perl
  • Multimedia Directory of resources www.phru.net/multimedia
  • Drop in service for colleagues looking for support regarding local health information campaigns and events

Working for such a large organisation no two days are ever the same, and that’s what keeps us going. The team is extremely busy providing our colleagues in Public Health and other clients with an ever increasing range of high quality resources. A new development for our team this year is a Digital Repository of Public Health research for NHSGGC, the Repository will be launched later in the year.

Our team has the opportunity to work with colleagues from other NHS Boards in Scotland and are also involved in Scotland wide programmes of work, including working with colleagues from NHS Inform on their Health Rights Information campaigns.

Within NHSGGC there are a number of individuals who provide Patient Information and we work together to ensure that the information produced by NHSGGC is accessible for all our clients. I am a member of the NHSGGC group for Accessible Information and have the lead role within the Public Health Directorate to provide guidance to staff on producing accessible information and have responsibility for quality assurance.

I’ve been a member of PiF for around four years and have had the opportunity to attend the national conferences which PiF organise. I have found these really useful in my current role; it’s good to meet up with colleagues from across the UK who are involved in the world of consumer health information. I find the weekly update from PiF invaluable and often pass on all the news and information to other colleagues within NHSGGC so that we can keep up to date with other projects from around the UK.