UKHSA launches new strategy to tackle national and global health hazards

26 July 2023

The new strategy sets out UKHSA’s vision and goals for the next 3 years to prepare for and respond to health threats and build the capabilities and technologies to protect the country in the future.

UKHSA was established in 2021 as a centre of scientific and operational excellence in health protection. The agency collaborates with partners in industry and academia, as well as across the NHS and wider health system to improve health security both in the UK and worldwide.

UKHSA works to protect the public against a wide range of health threats. These include infectious disease – from pathogens with pandemic potential to seasonal flu – chemical, radiation and nuclear hazards, extreme weather events and other environmental risks. UKHSA is already recognised globally for the quality, transparency and timeliness of its health protection response to real current health threats including mpox, avian influenza, heatwaves, measles and continued work to address COVID-19.

Dame Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of UKHSA, said:

The dangers that emerging and re-emerging pathogens, environmental threats, and extreme climate pose to health should not be underestimated. It is absolutely vital that the UK’s public health protection infrastructure and scientific expertise are equal to the challenge.

Through this strategic plan, UKHSA will continue to work across government, academia, and the private and voluntary sectors to keep the public safe and ensure that the UK is in the best possible position to respond to the hazards that we will face in coming years.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been a reminder of the catastrophic impact that health hazards can have on our lives and livelihoods, it has also shown the great strides that can be made when government, industry, and academia work together, developing innovative solutions and harnessing the power of data and scientific insight to drive policy and response.

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