Matt Hancock confirms Public Health England to be scrapped and Dido Harding to lead new body | The Independent

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson says schools face mask advice might change

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Matt Hancock has confirmed the government will axe Public Health England and create a new national institute for health protection – despite the move being branded “irresponsible” during a pandemic.

The health secretary also revealed Baroness Dido Harding, the current head of NHS Test and Trace and a Conservative peer, will become interim head of the new organisation which is expected to be operating from spring.

During a speech at the Policy Exchange think-tank, Mr Hancock said the new National Institute for Health Protection will have a “single and relentless mission” to protect the country from external threats, including infectious diseases, outbreaks and biological weapons.

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