General Article What next for the future of health security in the UK?

Topic Selected: National Health Book Volume: 392

The Mental Health Foundation responds to today’s proposals for the new UK Health Security Agency.

By Antonis Kousoulis, Director of England and Wales

Whatever the intent, the proposal announced today for the future of Health Security in England will result in a more fragmented system. We are losing a single national public health body (Public Health England) that currently provides a clear, integrated and cohesive focus on health improvement, and, within this, public mental health.

While the new UK Health Security Agency has a broad public health remit, its predominant focus is on infectious disease control, not creating the conditions and supporting the action needed in our communities to enable people to enjoy good overall health.

It is, of course, vital that the UK is in a good position to respond to pandemic threats. However, in public health terms, health security is a holistic term: the protection from threats to our health. Considering that not all pandemics can be prevented,...

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