Following the announcement of the creation of the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP), the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has released more information on the new body.
The new documents include a reminder of the responsibilities of NIHP:
- PHE [Public Health England] local health protection teams to deal with infections and other threats
- support and resources for local authorities to manage local outbreaks
- 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
- the National Infections Services, for example field services and scientific campuses at Colindale and Porton Down
- the regional and specialist public health microbiology laboratory network
- the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards
- global health security capability
- the UK public health rapid support team (joint with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
- research and knowledge management, and working with academic partners through Health Protection Research Units
- providing specialist scientific advice on immunisation and countermeasures
The duties are wide-ranging, however may not encompass all of PHE’s current work.
In the latest release, DHSC said:
“PHE and NHS Test and Trace will continue to deliver all of their existing functions until spring 2021, when the NIHP will be formally established and arrangements for the future of PHE’s health improvement functions will have been agreed and begun to be implemented. PHE staff will continue to be employed by PHE until at least spring 2021.”
MAP will continue to follow the development of NIHP until its official launch in 2021. Find the latest documents on the DHSC website, including timelines to the launch of the new body.