Reaction to Matt Hancock's speech on the future of public health

Following this morning's speech by Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health, on the future of public health the Chief Executive of The Hepatitis C Trust, Rachel Halford, made the following statement:

“Public Health England performed a vital role in promoting and protecting the nation’s public health, carrying out a huge range of activity from monitoring drug-related deaths to cancer awareness campaigns.

“We hope that the new National Institute for Health Protection will keep Public Health England’s commitment to tackle health inequalities. We welcome Matt Hancock’s comments indicating that the NIHP will help combat ‘other infectious diseases’. This must include focus on the ongoing pandemics which affect marginalised groups, such as hepatitis C and HIV, which Public Health England has done so much work on.

“Finally, key to any agency or system's success is the level of funding and investment from government. Public Health England has consistently called for more money to be spent on preventing the spread of hepatitis C in order to help efforts to eliminate the virus. If this government is serious about public health, it needs to follow those recommendations and ensure the services which carry out this activity are properly funded.”