The United Kingdom is replacing the Public Health England with a new body focused on protecting the country from external health threats, confirmed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. The U.K. is having a new body focused on protecting the country from external health threats.
The body, called the National Institute for Health Protection, is launching immediately and will merge the work of PHE, the NHS Test and Trace program and the Joint Biosecurity Centre. Dido Harding, current head of the NHS Test and Trace program and former chief executive of TalkTalk, will lead the new body on an interim basis. The institute will report to Hancock and will support the country’s chief medical officers.
Hancock said the government would “consult widely” on how to embed health improvement across the health service and within local authorities. Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust said,“The government risks making a major misstep by dismantling its own public health agency at such a crucial time, creating a huge distraction for staff who should be dedicating themselves to the next stage of the pandemic. There is no clear argument as to why this rebranding and reshuffling will solve some of the problems highlighted by the secretary of state today.”
Health experts have also argued that the new body should be led by a scientist, not a businesswoman.
Photo Credit : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Official_portrait_of_Matt_Hancock_crop_2.jpg