ABPI response to new National Institute for Health Protection
The Health Secretary has announced that Public Health England is to be replaced with a new body called the National Institute for Health Protection, in a merger of the pandemic response work of PHE and NHS Test and Trace.
Public Health England has played a critical role during the pandemic, but more widely in delivering important initiatives on disease prevention and public health. Richard Torbett
The NIHP’s primary focus will be public health protection and infectious disease and will start work immediately. The organisation will be formalised and operating from spring 2021.
In response, Richard Torbett, Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry said:
“Public Health England has played a critical role during the pandemic, but more widely in delivering important initiatives on disease prevention and public health.
“Our members have worked closely with PHE across many areas; from our world-leading vaccination programmes to diabetes prevention, through to critical work on antimicrobial resistance.
“Preventative healthcare should be front and centre of plans for the NHS post COVID-19. It’s important we understand how the wider work on prevention and public health will be taken forward, where responsibility and accountability will sit, and how the new organisation will work with health partners.”
Beyond pandemic preparedness, PHE has been responsible for immunisation and screening programmes as well as public health campaigns. It has also played a vital role in making sure that England is making the best use of health technologies, treatments, and vaccines.
Partnership with the life sciences sector is vital if we are to keep our focus and continued status as world leaders in areas like vaccination.
As we move into the Autumn, work to expand vaccination uptake more broadly and reduce strain on the health service during a potential second wave. England is ramping up for the ‘biggest winter flu campaign in history’ which will require a concerted, joined-up effort from public bodies and our members to realise this ambition.
Last modified: 20 September 2023
Last reviewed: 20 September 2023