The Department of Health (DH) has published the outcome to its consultation on reviewing Public Health England (PHE). The main conclusion of the review was that Public Health England performs necessary functions and should continue to operate as an executive agency. The review report also contains 11 recommendations to improve performance, governance and efficiency, these are:
Recommendation 1: The Department should work with PHE to ensure a shared understanding of their respective roles and responsibilities and how these work in practice.
Recommendation 2: PHE should develop a plan to build capability to allow the organisation to work more effectively with DH and other government departments to support policy development on public health issues.
Recommendation 3: PHE should ensure that it supports, including through its organisational structure and development programme, further integration across its various functions and work areas.
Recommendation 4: PHE needs to ensure that it continues to engage effectively with a broad range of stakeholders.
Recommendation 5: PHE needs to make best use of economic data in its work.
Recommendation 6: To make sure that government collectively gets the best outcomes, all PHE international activity must be fully joined up with – and part of – wider government strategy.
Recommendation 7: DH should explore options for the operational and budgetary management of the vaccines and countermeasures programme.
Recommendation 8: PHE, working with DH and Cabinet Office as appropriate, needs to understand the potential scope for income generation and for cost reduction through further active contract management.
Recommendation 9: Health data should be collected, stored and managed to minimise costs, ensure data security and maximise benefits to patients and the public.
Recommendation 10: The existing arrangements through which the Department holds PHE to account are appropriate for an Executive Agency but need to be exercised more consistently and rigorously by the Department.
Recommendation 11: The PHE board should focus to a greater extent on providing support and challenge to the executive in the effective running of the organisation and its key performance issues.