Our governance

The Framework Agreement between the Department of Health and Public Health England (PHE) sets out PHE’s overarching governance arrangements.

The Framework Agreement between the Department of Health and Public Health England (PHE) sets out PHE’s overarching governance arrangements.

The Chief Executive is responsible for the leadership and management of PHE and the delivery of its objectives. He has established a National Executive to support him in delivering PHE’s objectives by implementing a robust system of internal controls and driving forward an agenda to deliver them. The National Executive, chaired by the Chief Operating Officer, meets three times each month.

The Chief Executive is also supported by the PHE Board comprising a non-executive chairman and no more than 7 non-executive members. The Chief Executive is also a member.

The PHE Board meets at least 4 times a year. Led by its Chairman, it is responsible for providing strategic advice on the running of PHE, assuring the effectiveness of PHE’s corporate governance arrangements, and for advising the Chief Executive on:

  • the development of PHE’s corporate plan and annual business plan

  • PHE’s financial and performance objectives, and progress on meeting those objectives

  • ensuring that PHE maintains independence, and the highest professional and scientific standards in preparing and publishing its advice, and commands the confidence of the professional and scientific communities related to public health

  • issues and policies, both within the public health system and from other government departments, which could impact on the strategic direction of PHE

The PHE Board has established an Audit and Risk Committee, chaired by an independent non-executive member with significant experience of financial leadership at board level. The committee looks at risk management, corporate governance and assurance arrangements for PHE.

Health Protection Regulations 2010

In 2010 regulations came into force to complete the modernised legal framework for health protection in England.

Three sets of regulations complement the updated Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, which was substantially amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2008. These are:

Part 2A Orders

The Regulations of the Public Health Act include legal powers, available to enforce actions to protect public health: Part 2A Orders. They are available to local authorities and involve an application to a magistrate.

Local authorities would typically use these powers in consultation with other organisations, such as PHE, the NHS or the emergency services.

PHE has specific responsibilities to report on the use of the Orders.

Health protection legislation guidance

The Department of Health and Health Protection Agency (now Public Health England), in consultation with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, published guidance on the updated health protection legislation covering the amended Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and new regulations made under it.

The guidance explains notification requirements of registered medical practitioners and laboratories testing human samples as well as health protection powers available to local authorities and justices of the peace.

Health protection legislation guidance 2010 from DH’s archive site.

Health Protection Regulations 2010 Toolkit

This toolkit is a set of documents for authorised officers to deal with practical situations when they arise.

The toolkit was produced by Environmental Health at Lewes District Council, and the Surrey and Sussex Health Protection Unit of the former Health Protection Agency. It complements, rather than replaces, the formal guidance.

Health Protection Regulations 2010 Toolkit

Part 2A Orders

Whenever an application is made for a Part 2A Order (whether it relates to a person, thing, body, or premises) the local authority must make a written report to PHE: Part2AOrder@phe.gov.uk

PHE tracks the use of Part 2A Orders, but does not act on any individual orders.

The guidance to the Regulations requires PHE to provide a summary of the reports to the Department of Health annually, and to publish the information. PHE publishes an anonymised summary of the use of Part 2A orders submitted to it, on an annual basis.