About Jim


This page gives you some information about Jim, and some selected links to resources. You can find many more resources in the Links and Resources page. Jim’s LinkedIn profile is here

Jim McManus is Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire County Council, not to be confused with Jim McManus CSsR, the author and speaker or Jim McManus the former Chair of the Scottish Parole Board, or Jim McManus the founder of the OpenHouse theological movement in Scotland. (yes, there are several of them. And no relation discernible.)

Jim is a Public Health Specialist, Psychologist and Catholic Theologian with strong interests in health, diversity, disability, psychology and sexuality.  Jim is a member of the Secular Carmelite Order.

Jim is one of the lead authors of Improving People’s Health the national strategy for enhancing the impact of behavioural and social sciences in Public Health and a co-founder of the Behavioural Science in Public Health Network.

Jim is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Psychologist and registered Public Health Specialist who is also qualified in HR and strategic learning and development through the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.  All of these insights he uses daily in his work.

This blog is personal and does not claim that any content necessarily reflects the views or policy of Hertfordshire County Council, ADPH or anyone else for that matter.

Hertfordshire County Council

Jim’s role at Hertfordshire serves a population of 1.2 million people spread across 37 settlements in a large and diverse County of England. His focus is on getting things done to improve peoples’ lives whether at work or outside it. He describes the work of creating a Public Health movement not just a service delivery function, in Hertfordshire here.  One example of Public Health impact on the wider health and social care system is the contribution Public Health made helping local government and NHS integration in Hertfordshire. This is profiled here.

He leads a busy team of dedicated people working on topics as diverse as healthy urban development and intensive support for people who face multiple challenges in living health lives. 60,000 people a year use the sexual health services he commissions and every newborn child and infant in Hertfordshire gets health checks, advice and support from the Health Visiting services he commissions. He is used to working in large and small scale programmes.

Association of Directors of Public Health

Jim is also Vice-President of the Association of Directors of Public Health, (ADPH) which has a 160 year track record of being the voice of Directors of Public Health across England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

He leads on Public Mental Health, Suicide Prevention, Drugs , Sexual Health, Crime and Policing and HIV for ADPH nationally. His blog and article for the BMJ on Pre exposure prophylaxis for HIV  (PrEP) can be found here.

Jim says about himself: ”  What drives me is making life better for people. That means better business processes, better services and better culture for people to thrive.  I’m either intellectually greedy or insatiably curious, or maybe I just can’t agree to sit in one discipline’s box, but as a result of whichever combination of those, I try to find ways of solving problems and challenges from various disciplines.  I have a very strong interest in the Psychology of Leadership, and I try, however inadequately, to put this into practice. One experience which drives me always is presenting awards to three sixteen year olds who went from major issues including mental health, exclusion from school and conduct problems to passing Employability, English, Maths and IT awards and getting apprenticeships.”

Quality Improvement

Jim is a Health Foundation Generation Q Quality Improvement Fellow and is currently engaged in Quality Improvement programmes at national and local level. At national level  he is working on suicide prevention (with ADPH and Department of Health) and self harm (with the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and Health Education England).  He contributed to the development of the national suicide prevention guidance.

Jim is a Visiting Professor at the University of Hertfordshire and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. He co-leads a partnership with the University of Hertfordshire to provide masterclasses for practitioners across a range of fields where practitioners and researchers can spend time understanding how to address a range of challenges better using shared insights, and get research applied into practice. Domestic Abuse,  mental health recovery, young peoples’ mental health and service user and customer engagement have all been recent topics. The aim is to have better lives for people by helping practitioners and researchers work together with people to understand and respond better to their needs and challenges.

Jim chairs the National Whole Systems Obesity programme advisory board, which produces tools for local authorities to work with partners on reducing obesity in their populations. More information about this can be found here. He has a strong interest in Systems approaches and is currently trying to apply insights from this locally to improving peoples’ physical and mental health, and find ways of intervening early to stop people needing complex services. His recent opening plenary on public health approaches to mental health resource allocation at the international conference on Mind, Morals and Medicine at St Anne’s College, Oxford, can be found here.

At local level he is working on demand management in local authority services and outcomes for people with complex needs.

He is passionate about working with employers and education settings on digesting complex and sometimes confusing science into practice tips to ensure good mental health for all.

Bringing Science to Problems

As part of his commitment to finding ways of improving lives and services, Jim co-founded the Behavioural Science in Public Health Network . His earlier work on these issues include being on the Steering Group and co-authoring the Introduction to the British Academy’s publication on how social sciences can contribute to the health of the public; and several years working in crime reduction and community safety.

Theology and Faith

He is a member of the Theology, Religion and Practice Research Group at Roehampton University, and Vice-Chair of the Healthcare Executive Group of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Guild of Health and St Raphael

Jim was asked to become the first President of the Guild of Health and St Raphael, an organization dedicated to bringing scientific perspectives on health to faith organisations, working alongside the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in their role as Patrons. Like Jim, its Director, Dr Gillian Straine, is a cancer survivor and a scientist.

Diversity and Equality

Aside from work on Mental Health and disability inclusion at work, Jim has also been the link between ADPH and national work on LGBT health, most recently summarized at a national British Psychological Society symposium and has a track record of work on faith and health.  Between 2000 and 2003 he was appointed by the Lord Chancellor to help produce national guidance on hate crime and on equality and diversity for the  courts in England and Wales. He also worked with the Home Office and Police at national level providing advice, quality standards and toolkits on hate crime and domestic abuse.

Jim is  committed to making equality and diversity a reality. He has over 25 years’ experience in equality and diversity from advising government and agencies, most recently advising the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Some of this work, specifically for health employers, can be found here and here. An early piece of work commissioned by Jim for the NHS in East London can be found here. help faith communities how to engage with local authorities and other bodies.

Jim was national sponsor on behalf of Public Health England for the successful Positive Faith programme aimed at addressing HIV and chuches. His  blog for Public Health England on this resource can be found here and his article for the Pastoral Review on this work can be found here

In 2010 Jim was awarded the Good Samaritan Medal for Excellence in Healthcare by Pope Benedict XVI, the highest honour for healthcare the Vatican can award.

Jim’s work on Faith and Health has included working with FaithAction, a strategic NGO Partner of the Department of Health, contributing to Public Health England’s guidance on faith at end of life supporting NHS England in writing spiritual care guidelines, supporting work on equality and diversity in spiritual care including access for humanist and non-religious spiritual care, advising NHS HR and Chaplaincy teams on diversity issues and authoring the 2008 and 2018 national chaplaincy guidelines for the NHS and the Catholic Church.

In 2008 he authored Key Communities, Key Resources, the national government guidance on faith communities and emergency planning and in 2008 the national guidance on faith communities and pandemic ‘flu. His work on Health and Faith is summarized in the Local Government Association’s recent publication. Most recently he helped the London Borough of Southwark develop their Faith Strategy and has worked with FaithAction to produce a range of resources.

Jim is a Trustee of St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney, one of the oldest and largest Hospices in England. Founded by Catholic religious sisters, with Jewish financial support, it cares for a superdiverse population including many Muslims in East London. The Hospice lives diversity and inclusion.


%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close