RCP's response to the government’s announcement of a brand new National Institute for Health Protection.
Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians said: "COVID-19 has once again highlighted the health inequalities in our society.
“There are no quick fixes and no one organisation on its own can reduce health inequalities. Every public body must play its part and there is a clear need for greater coordination across government.
"While today's announcement focuses on pandemic preparedness and response, we cannot afford to forget about Public Health England's (PHE) wider responsibilities. There are many elements of public health that impact society and health outcomes, particularly given a pandemic. We must take a whole societal holistic approach to viewing health.
“We welcome the Secretary of State’s recognition of the vital role that PHE staff have played to date. This will be an uncertain time for staff and it is vital that the ambitions in the recent NHS people plan to value staff are put into practice during this period of change.
“Key to the success of the new National Institute for Health Protection will be how it recruits and retains the scientific and clinical experts who currently work for PHE. This must be a priority and we await more detail on how this will happen.
“Today's announcement could be the moment we have long been waiting for. A real recognition by Government of the need to invest in public health and prevention which will, in turn, help reduce health inequalities and create a healthier society."