Health Secretary Matt Hancock is set to scrap Public Health England (PHE) after a series of alleged failures dealing with the pandemic.
Following much criticism over how PHE handled the coronavirus pandemic, hancock is expected to announce later this week that PHE will be merged with the NHS test and trace programme.
It has been reported that the new health body will be called the Institute for Health Protection (IHP), and will become “effective” in September, but will not be fully complete until Spring, according to the Sunday Telegraph..
This comes as the UK is entering it’s sixth day in a row where coronavirus cases are now rising to more than 1,000 infections daily.
On Friday there were 1,441 cases which was the largest rise in 24 hours for two months, and on Saturday there was a further 1,012 and Sunday recorded 1,040.
In response to the Sunday Telegraph, a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesman said, “Public Health England have played an integral role in our national response to this unprecedented global pandemic.
“We have always been clear that we must learn the right lessons from this crisis to ensure that we are in the strongest possible position, both as we continue to deal with Covid-19 and to respond to any future public health threat.”
It is believed that Conservative peer Baroness Dido Harding will lead IHP, according to the newspaper.
Dr Amitava Banerjee, associate professor at the Institute of Health Informatics, University College London (UCL) said, “If PHE has fallen short, responsibility lies firmly with the current government and health ministers.
“Rather than a rash restructuring, a sensible approach must involve a rapid enquiry to establish lessons learned for future waves and future pandemics.”
A senior minister said, “We want to bring together the science and the scale in one new body so we can do all we can to stop a second coronavirus spike this autumn.
“The National Institute for Health Protection’s goal will be simple, to ensure that Britain is one of the best equipped countries in the world to fight the pandemic.”