It is not possible to predict when the next pandemic will occur or what virus will cause it. Therefore, our strategic approach to pandemic preparedness constantly evolves in response to new scientific information, learning from our response to prior pandemics, responses to other infectious disease outbreaks and rigorous exercising to test our response mechanisms.
The Department is working with the Centre for Pandemic Preparedness in the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to ensure we have a flexible and capabilities-based approach to pandemic preparedness that will allow us to respond to future outbreaks, protect the health of the United Kingdom population, and contribute to minimising the wider societal disruption that pandemics and infectious diseases can cause.
The UKHSA brings together our world-leading public health science and expertise, cutting-edge capabilities in data analytics and genomic surveillance, at-scale testing and contact tracing capabilities to respond to a range of pandemic threats, as outlined in UKHSA’s Science Strategy, published on 16 May 2023. Information on the strategy is available at the following link: