Launch of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)

Launch of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)

April 5, 2021

The Agency will lead on health protection and security activity for England, and will also take over from the Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace work those organisations already carried out.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is a new organisation responsible for leading protection against future health threats. It will begin to operate from 1st April 2021 and will be led by:

  • Dr Jenny Harries, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England who will become Chief Executive
  • Ian Peters, Chair of Barts Health NHS Trust who will become the organisation’s Chair

More detail is available in this news announcement on the following Gov.UK website page:

The UKHSA will be the UK leader for health security, providing intellectual, scientific and operational leadership at national and local level, as well as on the global stage. It will ensure the nation can respond quickly and at greater scale to deal with pandemics and future threats.

A policy paper setting out further detail on the government’s plans for protecting and securing the public’s health, including on the new UK Health Security Agency, has also been published:

Other functions of Public Health England to be transferred before closure of department later this year:

The current health improvement, prevention and healthcare public health functions of Public Health England will transfer to new homes within the health system, aligned to achieve clarity of purpose, accountability and impact. A new Office for Health Promotion will be created in the Department of Health and Social Care, under the professional leadership of the Chief Medical Officer.

As the Government implement these changes, Public Health England will close, and a new public health landscape will take shape during 2021.


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