UK Health Security Agency: Addressing the Impact of Health Threats on the Nation

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I am delighted to announce that the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) is now fully operational, bringing together the strengths and expertise of Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace.

The creation of UKHSA meant reinventing the country’s health security defenses and how we can protect people and save lives.

Transforming the public health system means ensuring that we address today’s health protection challenges, but it also means protecting ourselves from those that are yet to come.

UKHSA will work to do just that. We will build a lifelong capacity to prepare for, prevent and respond to all health threats, including future pandemics and infectious diseases, as well as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and environmental risks.

By bringing together Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace, we already have a brilliant scientific and professional foundation to do this job. I want the organization to grow into an intellectual, scientific and operational leader in health security, playing vital roles from the local to the global scene.

Health security not only impacts us on an individual level, it also underpins our well-being and possibilities in life and strongly influences the performance of our economy. As UKHSA continues the round-the-clock response to COVID-19, it will also take an active role in the post-pandemic health and community system to rebuild better and more equitably.

We will ensure that our work supports government cross-cutting priorities for improving people’s health, including climate change, leveling and reducing health inequalities.

The pandemic has shown us that health threats do not affect everyone equally: people in disadvantaged communities or who have other vulnerabilities have suffered the worst outcomes. We will learn from that.

Our mission is to save lives by protecting the entire nation from infectious diseases and other external health risks. However, I also see the establishment of UKHSA as an opportunity to push forward the innovations brought to the fore by the pandemic such as the development of new diagnostic tools and the opportunity to bring tests to the mailbox.

By working with life sciences and business, new innovations will help us not only support people’s health, but bring opportunities, improve livelihoods, promote community resilience, and support the key government agenda.

We will be an organization that runs forward to help solve problems and embraces partnerships with peers from research and academia, local government and local health protection teams, and most importantly, the communities we serve.

And, of course, we will work alongside our peers leading health improvement and public health at the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, NHS England and Improvement and NHS Digital.

This is just the beginning of a period of transformation and I want to thank everyone who helped redesign the public health system and worked so relentlessly on the response to COVID-19.

Change is never easy, but we all strive to protect, improve and save lives and nothing is more important than that.

Work with us

The creation of UKHSA is being managed to ensure continuity of the response to COVID-19 and existing health protection services.

This means that your contact details and email addresses will gradually change, so keep contacting us via your existing paths until you are notified otherwise.

I look forward to maintaining our vital working relationships and partnerships and developing new ones in the coming months.

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