18 August 2020
The Government has today announced that it is planning to create a new National Institute for Health Protection which will lead on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This Institute will bring together Public Health England, NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre.
In response, the British Society for Immunology has released the following statement.
Dr Doug Brown, Chief Executive of the British Society for Immunology, said:
“Supporting public health and preventing disease is a critical part of our country’s health system, the importance of which has been brought into sharp focus during the current COVID-19 pandemic. While Public Health England has been central to our country’s response to COVID-19, we should not forget that they also lead on work in numerous important health areas such as immunisation, infectious disease surveillance and reducing health inequities. Their staff include some of our most talented scientists and specialists who have dedicated their lives to working in this field and improving the lives of others.
“Investing in the public health of our country and preventing disease occurring in the first place is vital, and will prevent spiralling healthcare costs while improving our nation’s health. Public health has seen a significant decrease in investment over the last decade and to be able to reap the significant benefits that a focus in this area has the potential to deliver, it’s crucial that public health is adequately funded across all its functions.
“COVID-19 has presented this country with a new and unprecedented challenge and news of a co-ordinated approach to this from the Government is to be welcomed. From today’s announcement, the British Society for Immunology looks forward to engaging with the Government on how all the current functions that Public Health England carries out will be fulfilled in the future, and to working with the new National Institute for Health Protection to advance their science-led approach to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
You can read the full press release from the Government on the creation of a new National Institute for Health Protection here.