Public health professionals across the UK have been working with dedication, whilst under extreme pressure, to protect the populations they serve from Covid-19 and from other threats to health which are no less diminished because of this pandemic.
With a huge strain already placed upon the public health system, the leaked announcement over the weekend has caused further stress and uncertainty for an already exhausted workforce.
With Matt Hancock today officially announcing the formation of the National Institute for Health Protection, we hope that the successful aspects of PHE’s response to Covid-19 are retained and strengthened, that public health leaders will be at the centre of shaping the forthcoming reforms to the public health system and that public health will now face investment rather than the cuts of the past decade.
Whilst the new organisation will exist to protect the public from external threats to health, it is so important that we have an effective, well-resourced, public health system which will improve health as well as protect it. Government needs to recognise the importance of all functions and domains of public health - not just health protection.
- Professor Maggie Rae, President of the UK Faculty of Public Health