Health protection - A strategy and a national agency

A. Nicoll*, Virginia Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The Chief Medical Officer for England has published a strategy for health protection and announced the formation of a new body, the Health Protection Agency, to deal with the threats to health from infectious disease, chemicals, toxins and radiation hazards. This reflects international recognition of the need to combat threats to health from the likes of tuberculosis, HIV, influenza, anti-microbial resistance, chemical accidents and bio-terrorism, and the risks to health associated with increased movements of people, animals and goods, climate change and industrialisation. The strategy will strengthen surveillance and response linking contributions from clinical specialities with public health, microbiology, toxicology and radiation science within the health protection family. The Agency will be formed by combining a number of national and specialist public bodies and personnel delivering local protection services. The strategy represents a unique opportunity to strengthen local and national structures and develop a world-class health protection service. Detailed plans are being developed by the Department of Health with a variety of stakeholders for the launch of the Agency in 2003. A number of challenges will have to be met including developing and training the workforce in health protection, providing career structures for public health scientists and nurses, strengthening electronic communications and developing health protection networks within broader public health structures. Health protection should now be recognised as a sub-speciality of public health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Health protection
  • Microbiology
  • Public health
  • Radiation science
  • Toxicology


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