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What we say about… Health protection

Covid-19 · Health protection · Position statements · Public health funding · Public health workforce | November 20, 2023

Our key messages

  • Sustained funding and effort are required to protect people from communicable diseases and environmental threats to health on an individual, group and population level.


  • There should be a whole system approach where roles and responsibilities of different parts of the health protection system are clarified.


  • DsPH and local public health authorities play a vital role in the health protection system and should work closely with regional and national public health authorities.


  • Good practices in health protection should be shared locally and internationally.


  • A workforce strategy should ensure sufficient health protection and environmental health expertise in every local area.


  • Good data sharing arrangements should be in place to support local health protection action.

Our national recommendations

  • Health protection cannot be treated in isolation from social and commercial determinants of health and plans should consider the needs of different population groups to avoid widening existing inequalities.


  • There should be a high degree of interconnectedness across the system at local, regional and national levels and national policies should be co-designed with local public health teams.


  • Funding for services that affect health protection should receive inflationary increases and funding should also be identified for outbreak situations and allocated to relevant organisations.


  • Health protection and infection control received an increase of short-term funding throughout Covid-19 – the removal of this funding with an increased expectation of local public health should be addressed to ensure services and individuals are not compromised as a result.

Our local recommendations

  • There should be sufficient health protection expertise at a local level and the local knowledge of DsPH should shape health protection decisions, reflecting local demographics and diversity.


  • A set of standards should be in place to ensure that different parts of the system have what they need in place, including funding commensurate with level of need.
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