Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:42 pm on 1st September 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 3:42 pm, 1st September 2020

I counted eight questions. Let me try to answer them. The National Institute for Health Protection does not require a legal basis; these PHE duties were not done on a legal basis. It will take on some UK-wide responsibilities, but also have responsibilities for England only. It is funded from the Department of Health and Social Care. It will be an executive agency of the Department. There is a global search under way for long-term, permanent leadership. As I said in response to the previous question, it will bring together the leadership of several different parts of the response. It was imperative, as far as I could see, to try to make sure we have that single unified leadership for the next stage of our response to the crisis. I pay tribute to the work of Public Health England. It has done an enormous amount, especially through its scientific work, which has truly been among the best in the world and has helped us to respond as well as we possibly could. I think that the new National Institute for Health Protection, established on the basis that I have set out, will make sure that we are constantly learning to have the best response, in terms of both the science and the scale, and to deliver for this country.