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Public health advice won’t be as respected if it comes from health department rather than arm’s length bodies, experts warn

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d3642 (Published 09 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3642
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The independence of evidence that informs policy on public health and the pool of expertise in this field are potentially at risk from the government’s plans to reform the NHS, MPs have heard.

Several witnesses appearing before the parliamentary health select committee on 7 June raised concerns about the government’s plan to create Public Health England—the new body that will lead on public health within the Department of Health—as part of its reform of the NHS.

The MPs, who are carrying out an inquiry into the future of public health in England, asked witnesses from four non-departmental public bodies—the Health Protection Agency, the National Treatment Agency …

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