We were responsible for:
- making the public healthier and reducing differences between the health of different groups by promoting healthier lifestyles, advising government and supporting action by local government, the NHS and the public
- protecting the nation from public health hazards
- preparing for and responding to public health emergencies
- improving the health of the whole population by sharing our information and expertise, and identifying and preparing for future public health challenges
- supporting local authorities and the NHS to plan and provide health and social care services such as immunisation and screening programmes, and to develop the public health system and its specialist workforce
- researching, collecting and analysing data to improve our understanding of public health challenges, and come up with answers to public health problems
We did this through world-leading science, research, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and providing specialist public health services.
PHE’s strategic plan set out how PHE intended to achieve its aims by 2025.
Our business plan outlined the actions PHE took to protect and improve the public’s health and reduce inequalities.
The remit letter set out the role the government expected PHE to play in the health and social care system in the 2019 to 2020 financial year and the priorities for PHE at that time.
Who we are
We were an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, and a distinct organisation with operational autonomy. We provided government, local government, the NHS, Parliament, industry and the public with evidence-based professional, scientific expertise and support.
We employed 5,500 staff (full-time equivalent), mostly scientists, researchers and public health professionals.
We had 8 local centres, plus an integrated region and centre for London, and 4 regions (north of England, south of England, Midlands and east of England, and London).
We worked closely with public health professionals in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and internationally.
PHE was established on 1 April 2013 to bring together public health specialists from more than 70 organisations into a single public health service.