I am pleased to announce that the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is now fully operational, bringing together the strengths and expertise of Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace.
The creation of the UKHSA meant rethinking the country’s health and safety practices and how we can protect people and save lives.
Reshaping the public health system is about meeting current health challenges, but also about protecting ourselves from those to come.
The UKHSA will work on it. We will build an ongoing capacity to prepare, prevent and respond to all health threats, including future pandemics and infectious diseases, as well as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and environmental hazards.
By bringing together Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace, we already have an excellent scientific and professional basis for this work. I want the organization to become an intellectual, scientific, and operational health security leader who plays an important role from the local to the global stage.
Health security not only influences us on an individual level, but also underpins our well-being and our chances in life and has a strong influence on the performance of our economy. As the UKHSA continues its 24-hour 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 our work supports overarching government priorities to improve people’s health, including climate change, and addressing and reducing health inequalities.
The pandemic has shown us that health threats do not affect everyone equally – people in underserved communities or with other vulnerabilities have suffered the worst of the consequences. We will learn from it.
Our mission is to save lives by protecting the entire nation from infectious diseases and other external health threats. But I also see the establishment of the UKHSA as an opportunity to drive forward the innovations that have come to the fore as a result of the pandemic, such as the development of new diagnostic tools and the possibility of putting tests in the mailbox.
Working with life sciences and business, new innovations will help us not only support people’s health, but also create opportunities to improve livelihoods, build community resilience, and support critical government agendas.
We will be an organization that moves forward to help solve problems, partnering with fellow researchers, local authorities and local health teams and, most importantly, the communities we serve.
And of course we will work with our colleagues in the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, NHS England and Improvement and NHS Digital who are responsible for health improvement and public health.
This is just the beginning of a period of transformation and I would like to thank everyone who helped reshape the public health system and worked so tirelessly on the COVID-19 response.
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 managed to ensure continuity of the COVID-19 response and existing health protection services.
This means that the contact details and email addresses will change gradually. Please continue to contact us via the existing channels until you are informed otherwise.
I look forward to maintaining our important working relationships and partnerships and developing many new ones in the months ahead.
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