A teal and white icon representing Epidemiology and Surveillance. 



What is epidemiology and surveillance? 


Epidemiological surveillance in public health is the continuous, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health-related data. This information is used for planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health interventions and programmes. Surveillance data are used both to determine the need for public health action and to assess the effectiveness of programmes.  



Programme Scope 

This workstream provides technical support and assistance to the UKOTs to strengthen capacities in relation to epidemiology and surveillance. This is in part to improve compliance with the International Health Regulations (IHR), many of which are around member state capabilities to detect and respond to events of public health importance.  



Workstream Focus 

  • To strengthen capacity of UKOTs to implement the IHR and respond to health emergencies through supporting robust, sustainable surveillance, response and emergency preparedness capacities 

  • Improve situational awareness of strengths and gaps related to surveillance systems, coordination, and response. 

  • Increase capabilities for data collection, management, analysis, and reporting of health data. 

  • Facilitate training opportunities and workforce development related to epidemiology and data analysis skills. 

  • Help build relationships amongst epidemiology and data colleagues across the UKOTs to enable peer support and shared learning. 


Example Projects 

  • Situational analysis of surveillance and response systems in Gibraltar and Anguilla to assess the extent to which they are prepared to detect, assess, and respond to public health threats. The final reports included actionable recommendations agreed with CMOs. 

  • Ongoing support to enhance surveillance and reporting systems in Montserrat through an on-island UKHSA Epidemiologist who works directly with the Health Ministry to support a range of activities as required. 

  • Implementation support for the new Electronic Health Information System (EHIS) in Anguilla. 

  • Supported a rapid Covid-19 outbreak investigation and vaccine efficacy study in the Falkland Islands. The aim was to characterise the outbreak and calculate vaccine efficacy within a small island highly vaccinated population context.  

  • Developing bespoke data collection tools and systems in St Helena. This included tools to collect data on Covid vaccinations, cancer patients, and a tool to support tracking and evaluation of the new stop smoking service. 

  • Outbreak response and management including a rapid cholera risk assessment; a mumps outbreak investigation; and Covid-19 support. 



This network aims to provide a space for accessing peer support from epidemiology colleagues across the UKOTs to discuss challenges and collaboratively problem solve; to share good practice; and to identify and enable opportunities for training and professional development. Topics covered include outbreak management, NCD registries and data management challenges.   

The Network meets every 3 months, using the MS Teams platform with Secretariat and Chairing by UKHSA. For more information or to join the UKOTs Epidemiology Network please email UKOTs.Programme@ukhsa.gov.uk  

Training Opportunities 

Applied Epi course brochure: Applied Epi courses - October 2022 

Key Resources