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Public Health England needs freedom to speak out

The Health Committee, made up of senior MPs, has published the results of its inquiry into how Public Health England set about establishing its policy priorities and programme of work. Commenting on the Health Committee’s findings, Professor John Ashton, President of the Faculty of Public Health, said:

“Public Health England (PHE) was created by bringing together over 70 organisations into one. This was the difficult first step of a journey that began a year ago. We believe the development of the organisation is a work in progress and look forward to our ongoing collaboration with PHE.
“We strongly support the recommendations of this Health Committee report. It is vitally important that PHE is an independent organisation, with the freedom to speak out about issues that affect our health and wellbeing. This is also true for directors of public health. They too require the professional freedom to speak truth to power, and to be a strong, independent voice for their local communities.
“We know that the people who work at Public Health England – including many of our members – are doing all they can to make this new organisation fit for purpose. That’s why PHE needs a much clearer framework which would address our mutual concerns. FPH will continue to work closely with PHE and government to do all we can to protect and improve people’s health.”

Written: 26/02/2014 , last modified: 08/07/2014