Plan to scrap Public Health England criticised

The government’s decision to scrap Public Health England and merge it into a new body charged with preventing future outbreaks of infectious diseases produced a chorus of criticism from senior doctors, hospital bosses and public health experts. The critics have accused ministers of scapegoating Public Health England for their own failings over Covid-19.

A succession of senior health figures have claimed the move, made while parliament is not sitting, is an attempt by Boris Johnson’s administration to shift the blame for its own failings during the pandemic.

The critics claimed that ministers were exaggerating PHE’s errors and importance in order to distract attention from the fact that they and not the agency made key mistakes in the early weeks of fighting a pandemic that has so far claimed more than 65,000 lives.

Full story in The Guardian, 16 August 2020