As Directors of Public Health for Cheshire & Merseyside, we are committed to working in the best way possible to achieve better health outcomes. We are very proud of our nationally recognised collaborative way of working which brings great benefits for all.

We look forward to building on the achievements made so far and to continue working together with our public health teams and partners to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities and achieve better health outcomes.

Ian Ashworth

Director of Public Health Cheshire West and Chester


Dr Muna Abdel Aziz

Director of Public Health - Warrington


1st Floor New Town House
Buttermarket Street
Warrington, WA1 2NH
Tel: 01925 444094

Public Health Annual Report

Director of Public Health Lead: High blood pressure

Muna Abdel Aziz is the Director of Public Health for Warrington.  Muna has a medical degree and first started her career in public health in 1992 as an academic. She completed her MD in Sudan, PhD from Cambridge, and is professionally accredited as a specialist in public health in both countries.

Muna worked as a Consultant in Public Health in Salford and Sheffield, then three years in the Sudan where she helped establish the national Public Health Institute in her role as Deputy Director. Muna’s work has covered diverse topics like malaria, maternal and child health, long term conditions, health impact assessments of industry, mobile health and retention of the health workforce.

Muna joined Warrington Borough Council as a Consultant in Public Health in November 2013 with responsibility for health protection, healthcare public health, and knowledge and intelligence. Her interest in economy and health is central to her work on the 'Health in Business' programme in Warrington, and 'Health in Planning' to develop the health and social care estate alongside growth in the town. Currently, Muna is the Training Programme Director for speciality training in public health in Cheshire and Merseyside, and the International CPD Adviser for the Faculty of Public Health.

Matthew Ashton

Director of Public Health - Knowsley and Sefton


Public Health - 5th floor, Municipal Building
Archway Road, Huyton
Knowsley, L369YU
Tel: 0151 443 4903

Public Health Annual Report

Director of Public Health Lead: Strategic Intelligence & Partnerships

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. In addition to his role in Knowsley, he has recently been appointed Director of Public Health for Sefton Council.

Matt heads up a public health team of 30 people, covering strategy & intelligence, quality & health protection and public health improvement & commissioning. Matt has responsibility for a public health budget of more than £15 million.  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 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.

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 the Health Protection Agency North West.



Sandra Davies

Director of Public Health


Liverpool City Council
Dale Street,
Liverpool, L2 2DH
Tel: 0151 233 1106

Public Health Annual Report

Chair of Directors of Public Health Executive Board and Director of Public Health Lead: Mental Health & Wellbeing

Before taking up her current position, Sandra worked as Associate Director of Public Health for Liverpool PCT and later Liverpool City Council and had a lead role over health improvement programmes and public health commissioning.

Sandra’s background is in mental health promotion, public health and research. She obtained her first degree in Psychology in 1983 and then worked for a few years in Therapeutic Communities  where she supported people with severe mental illness using psychodynamic approaches and group therapies. From there she went on to study for a PhD at Manchester University looking at the effects of psychosocial stress on low birth weight and pregnancy outcome, and then became a researcher for Manchester City Council looking at the impact of housing on health.

In 1991 she moved into Health Promotion and worked on a range of topics, including public mental health.  She gained her MPH (Master of Public Health) from Liverpool University in 1999, and went on to manage the Liverpool Health Promotion Service in 2000. From there Sandra moved into public health and became a consultant in Public Health in 2007, leading on smokefree initiatives, obesity, alcohol, public mental health and wellbeing, and European funded programmes.

Sandra is a member of the Faculty of Public Health. She is very keen on physical activity. She played in women’s football teams across the country from the age of 12, and loves cycling and walking. She is a fan of St Helens Rugby League team and attends all their matches.



Sue Forster

Director of Public Health - St Helens


St Helens Council
Public Health
Atlas House
Corporation Street
St Helens, WA9 1LD
Tel: 01744 673232

Public Health Annual Report

Director of Public Health Lead: Suicide Prevention

Sue is Director of Public Health for St Helens Council leading on Public Health and Wellbeing which includes Public Health, Integrated Children’s Commissioning, Arts and Culture, Libraries, Adult Community Learning, the Youth and Music Service.

Sue has worked in Public Health since 1993 when she joined Sefton Health Authority to support population health analysis.  In 2000 she joined the Public Health Training scheme where she trained in East and South Lancashire before getting her first substantive post at West Lancashire PCT.

Sue moved to St Helens in 2004 and has worked as a public health consultant since that time moving to the council in 2013.

Sue is passionate about public health in particular addressing health and social inequalities. Her particular interests are suicide prevention, early detection and secondary prevention disease of long term conditions. She is the lead on the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and the development of the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Fiona Johnstone

Director of Public Health - Wirral


Wallasey Town Hall
Brighton Street,
CH44 8ED
Tel: 0151 691 8210

Public Health Annual Report

Co-chair of the Public Health Collaborative Leadership Group, Director of Public Health Lead: Licensing

Fiona Johnstone has been a Director of Public Health since May 2002 and joined Wirral in September 2010. 

She is responsible for monitoring and improving the health status of the community, advising on strategies to reduce inequalities, identifying health needs, developing programmes to reduce risk and screen for early disease, controlling communicable disease, provision of public health evidence and expertise to support commissioning, management and implementation of change and ensuring emergency planning is robust.

On behalf of her colleagues in Cheshire & Merseyside she hosts the Champs Public Health Collaborative within Wirral Council and is Co-chair of the Champs Leadership Group with Matthew Ashton from Knowlsey.   

She has a particular interest in health inequalities, having conducted one of the first equity audits in the country, as well as considerable experience of working in primary care and Local Authority settings, as well as in the academic sector within a teaching and research environment.

Fiona has also taken on responsibility for policy, performance and scrutiny within the Council and more recently she has been involved in local government sector-led improvement and is keen to see how this can be adopted as an approach within public health.

Eileen O'Meara

Director of Public Health - Halton


Halton Borough Council
Runcorn Town Hall
Heath Road
Tel: 0151 511 6848

Director of Public Health Lead: Health Protection

Annual Public Health Report

Eileen O’Meara is Director of Public Health and Environmental Health for Halton where she is responsible for strategic direction, health protection, health improvement  and the commissioning of services. She is the North West Directors of Public Health lead for combatting child poverty and the Cheshire and Merseyside Directors of Public Health lead for the Local Workforce and Education Group.  Eileen has over 20 years national and international experience in public health working at a senior level for the NHS, WHO and UNICEF and as an independent consultant. She is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians. 

Fiona Reynolds

Director of Public Health - Cheshire East



Middlewich Road


CW11 1HZ

Tel: 01270 686883


Vice Chair Directors of Public Health Executive Board and Lead: Employment & Skills, Communications and Workforce & CPD

Fiona first trained to be a journalist but following a year in NUS politics, decided that she would rather work in health than report on it. Having studied MA Health Promotion at the University of Central Lancashire, she joined Hull and East Riding Community Health Trust's Health Promotion Team in 2000 focusing on sexual health, leading on media and campaigns. 

In 2002, Fiona went to work for Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Primary Care Trust and in 2004 joined the North West Public Health Training Scheme. Between 2009 and 2014, Fiona worked with the Salford public health team as Consultant in Public Health leading on mental wellbeing, wider determinants and long term conditions. In March 2014, she joined Cheshire West and Chester Council to lead on health protection and wider determinants and held a brief role as Interim Director of Public Health. Fiona joined Cheshire East Council as Director of Public Health in March 2017.