UK Health Security Agency

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In October 2021, Public Health England was replaced by the UK Health Security Agency and Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

The UK Health Security Agency or UKHSA is responsible for planning, preventing and responding to external health threats and providing intellectual scientific and operational leadership at a national and local level, as well as on a global stage. The UK Health Security Agency will ensure the nation can respond quickly and at a greater scale to deal with pandemics and future threats. The immediate priority of UKHSA is to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. They play a particularly critical role in the route to developing vaccines effective against new and emerging variants.

In the longer term, UKHSA will build on the infrastructure developed for COVID-19 to tackle and prevent other infectious diseases and external health threats. This work will include a strong focus on life sciences, strengthening relationships with research organisations and industries, which have developed and grown through the pandemic.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, OHID, focuses on improving the nation's health. It will work across the Department of Health and Social Care, DHSC, the rest of the government, the healthcare system, local government and industry towards preventing ill health, in particular, the places and communities where there are most significant discrepancies.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities is responsible for building scientific evidence, leading and developing the policy and delivering core services around healthy weight, diet and physical activity, improving the health of children and families, smoking addiction and the health of vulnerable groups, leading the policy development and supporting the effective delivery of prevention services, helping individuals to better understand and manage their health and finally, building on the scientific evidence on public mental health.

You can find more information on the work of these agencies and the advice they offer on their websites. We have put links on the student resource sections of this course.