Matthew Ashton was appointed as the Director of Public Health for Knowsley in August 2013, having held the position of Acting Director of Public Health since October 2012.
Matt heads up a public health team of 30 people, covering strategy & intelligence, quality & health protection, and public health improvement & commissioning, and has responsibility for a public health budget of more than £15 million.
Matt is currently working on the integration of public health functions into the local authority, and the establishment of Knowsley’s Health & Wellbeing Board. Priorities contained in the Health & Wellbeing Strategy for Knowsley include mental health, alcohol, respiratory disease, and the appropriate use of services.
Prior to taking up the Director role, Matt’s substantive post was Deputy Director of Public Health, with responsibility for strategy development, public health intelligence, research & evaluation, health inequalities, and wider determinants of health. Matt was also the lead consultant working with NHS Knowsley Clinical Commissioning Group, and is the strategic lead for intelligence for the Cheshire and Merseyside Directors of Public Health Cluster.
Matt has been based in Knowsley since 2005, and has previously held positions at the North West Public Health Observatory / Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, and at Health Protection Agency North West.
Matthew Ashton's Publications
Enhanced Surveillance of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the North West
The aim of the STI pilot was to establish the feasibility and usefulness of setting up an enhanced system of routine data collection for STI’s in the North West.
HIV and AIDS in the North West of England 2004
A report on HIV & AIDS in the North West of England, using 2004 data.
Synthesis No 2: Counting the Cost Economics of Sexually Transmitted Infections
A report on the economic effects of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Matthew Ashton's Papers
Ian Simms, Kevin Fenton, Matthew Ashton, Katherine Turner, Emma Crawley-Boevey, Russell Gorton, Daniel Thomas, Audrey Lynch, Andrew Winter, Martin Fisher, Helen Maguire, Maria Solomou
Journal of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 220-226, 2005.
Abstract: Objective: The objective of this study was to characterize the resurgence of infectious syphilis in the United Kingdom between 1997 and 2003. Study: The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of routine surveillance data from genitourinary medicine clinics and data collected through enhanced surveillance. Results: Between 1997 and 2002, diagnoses of primary, secondary, and early latent syphilis made at genitourinary medicine clinics increased by 213% in heterosexual males, 1412% in men who have sex with men (MSM), and 22% in females. These increases have been driven by a series of outbreaks, the largest of which were seen in Manchester (528) and London (1222) up to the end of October 2003. All the outbreaks have been geographically localized and the majority of cases occurred in MSM. A high percentage of concurrent HIV infection was reported, and oral sex was often reported as a route of transmission. Conclusions: Syphilis has re-emerged in response to behavior change, probably driven by changes in the HIV epidemic. The future course of the epidemic is difficult to predict and control remains elusive.
BMJ, 329, 1239, 2004.
Secular trends in the occurrence of tuberculosis in an urban community in North West England, 1918-2001: implications for a local tuberculosis control programme
Martyn Regan, Emer Coffey, Karen Tocque, Matthew Ashton, Qutub Syed
Communicable Disease Public Health. 6, 311-316, 2003.
Abstract: In recent years enhanced surveillance of tuberculosis has been undertaken for England and Wales to monitor national epidemiological trends. The Chief Medical Officer's strategy for communicable diseases has identified the development of a national strategy for the control of tuberculosis as a priority. Regional and sub-regional variations in the occurrence of tuberculosis require further exploration to inform local implementation of the national strategy. Secular epidemiological trends in tuberculosis for the period 1918-2001 are described for a deprived urban area in the north west of England, and implications for local enhanced surveillance and control measures are discussed. A substantial decline in mortality and morbidity from tuberculosis is shown due to interruption of transmission following improvements to the housing stock and the introduction of chemotherapy and BCG vaccination. The proportion of incident cases of tuberculosis in non-white groups has markedly increased over the period observed. The local tuberculosis control programme now specifically targets recent non-white immigrants. Other urban areas may need to adopt similar measures to improve local control of tuberculosis.