A brand new organisation whose primary focus is public health protection and infectious disease capability is being established by the government.
- New organisation to focus on rigorous science-led approach to public health protection
- Institute will boost UK’s ability to deal with and recover from COVID-19 and meet health challenges of the coming winter
- The organisation will be formalised and be operating from spring 2021
The National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) will start work immediately, with a single command structure to advance the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will bring together Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Test and Trace, as well as the analytical capability of the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) under a single leadership team. This is the first step towards becoming a single organisation, focused on tackling COVID-19 and protecting the nation’s health.
In order to minimise disruption to the vital work dealing with the pandemic, the organisation will be formalised and operating from spring 2021.
The new organisation will support local directors of public health and local authorities on the frontline of the COVID-19 response.
The responsibilities of the NIHP will include:
- NIHP local health protection teams to deal with infections and other threats
- support and resources for local authorities to manage local outbreaks
- the COVID-19 testing programme
- contact tracing
- the Joint Biosecurity Centre
- emergency response and preparedness to deal with the most severe incidents at national and local level
- research and reference laboratories and associated services
- specialist epidemiology and surveillance of all infectious diseases
- the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards
- global health security
- providing specialistic scientific advice on immunisation and countermeasures
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