About Dr Cath

Dr Cath is the pseudonym for Dr Catherine Heffernan who's been a registered Consultant in Public Health on the UK Public Health Register since 2009 and a fellow of the Faculty of Public Health.  

She is currently Principal Advisor for Commissioning Early Years, Immunisations and Vaccination Services at Public Health England (London).  Between March 2020 and October 2021,  worked as a Consultant in Public Health/Public Health Advisor in Public Health England's national advice, guidance and expertise team (PHAGE) on the COVID-19 incident.   In the past, she's also been 
an interim Director of Public Health and a Consultant in Children's Public Health.  She has specialised in immunisations and healthcare public health. She also has a long standing interest in the public health issues of childhood as they relate to children and parents and children as future adults. 

Catherine also holds an honorary associate professorship at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  As well as academic collaborations, she is an educational supervisor for public health registrars and a clinical supervisor for GP trainees (public health placements).  She is an appraiser trainer for the PHE London Revalidation Programme and a Deputy Faculty Advisor for Faculty of Public Health. 

Catherine has also been an expert committee member on NICE Quality Standards for Improving Vaccination Uptake in under 19s (2016) and a commissioner representative on the NICE Guideline Committee for management of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women and the NICE Guideline Committee for Pelvic Dysfunction.    

Catherine has written articles on public health topics for a number of magazines including C'llr (2007-2017), Public Health Matters and Public Health Today. 

Magazine articles (2020/21):

Heffernan, C. 2021.  Shingles: The Forgotten vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Independent Nurse, July 2021. 

Heffernan, C. 2021.  How to manage COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.  Nursing in Practice

Heffernan, C. 2020. Tackling Vaccine Hesitancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Independent Nurse, 20 Dec 2020:Vol 12.  

Heffernan, C. 2020. Delivering the 'flu vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic. Independent Nurse,  19 November 2020:Vol 11. 

Heffernan, C.  2020.  Delivering immunisations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Independent Nurse, 19 Aug 2020:Vol 8. 

Peer reviewed publications in last 4 years (2017-21):

Kauffmann F, Heffernan C, Meurice F, Ota M, Vetter V, Casabona G. 2021. Measles, mumps, rubella prevention: how can we do better? Expert Rev Vaccines. 2021;20(7):811-826.

Skirrow H, Flynn C, Heller A, Heffernan C, Mounier-Jack S, Chantler T. 2021. Delivering routine immunisations in London during the Covid-19 pandemic: lessons for future vaccine delivery. British Journal of General Practice Online  Delivering routine immunisations in London during the Covid-19 pandemic: lessons for future vaccine delivery | BJGP Open.

Ellis N, Walker-Todd E, Heffernan C.  2020.  Exploring what influences childhood immunisation decision-making in London's Gypsy, Roma and Travelling Communities.  British Journal of Nursinghttps://doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2020.29.14.822

Rana S,  Saavedra-Campos M, Perkins S,  Mohammed-Klein R,  Wright A, Cordery R, Bell A,  Heffernan C,  Meltzer M, Chow, Y,  Verlander N,  Balasegaram S. 2020.  A large measles outbreak with multiple healthcare exposures, London, February-June 2016: public health response and factors associated with cases being isolated on arrival to healthcare settings.  Public Health, Vol 183:55-62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2020.02.015.

Chantler T, Bell S, Saliva V, Heffernan C, Raj T, Ramsey M, Mourier-Jack, S. 2019. Is partnership the answer? Delivering the national immunisation programme in the new English health system: a mixed methods study. Public Health https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6400-6.

Bosanquent N, Davies T, Donovan H, Heffernan C, Kassianos G, Kirham K, Lonergan K, Nicholson E. Vaccinating outside Section 7a immunisation programmes: who, how and why? Practice Nursing, Vol 30 no 10: 492-494 https://doi.org/10.12968/pnur.2019.30.10.492

McGeown H, Moore J & Heffernan C.  2019.  Embedding commissioner quality visits to general practices to improve childhood immunisations: lessons learned. British Journal of Healthcare Management Vol 25, No 1.

Seok J, Heffernan C, Mounier-Jack S, Chantler T.  2018.  Perspectives of vaccinators on the factors affecting uptake of meningococcal ACWY vaccine amongst school leavers in London. Public Health, Vol 64: 128-133.   

Rockliffe L, McBride E, Heffernan C, Foster, A.2018. Factors affecting delivery of the HPV vaccination: a focus group study with NHS School Aged Vaccination teams in London. Journal of School Nursing , Vol 27: 434-446.

Lonergan K, Latif A, Bailey J, Moore J, Beaney T, Heffernan,C. 2018.Implementing the evidence: are call/recall systems for immunisations feasible in general practice? Vaccines and Immunology,  Vol 1, Issue 1.  

Junghans C, Heffernan C, Valli A, Gibson K. 2018.Short Report: Mass vaccination response to a measles outbreak is not always possible -Lessons from a London Prison.J Epidemiology & Infection 146(13):1689-1691.

McGeown H, Heffernan C & Gibson K.  2018.  Perspectives from CQC ‘outstanding’ practices: How to have good uptake of vaccination services. Practice Nursing 2018, Vol 29 (3):2-6.  https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/10.12968/pnur...

Junghans C, Lonergan K, Heffernan C & Gibson K. 2018. Vaccinations not covered under Section 7a – Who Pays? British Journal of General Practice Feb 2018:92-93.

Heffernan C, Jones L, Ritchie B, Erens B, Chalabi Z & Mays N. 2018.  Local health and social care responses to implementing the national cold weather plan. Journal of Public Health, 40(3): 461-466. 

Winslade C, Heffernan, C. & Atchison C. 2017. Experiences and perspectives of mothers of the pertussis vaccination programme in London. Public Health Vol 146, 10-14.

Full list of publications can be found at Research Gate.