Health Protection Agency

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The Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s ambition is to 'lead the way by identifying, preparing for and responding to health threats'. It aims to achieve its goal by acting as an independent UK organisation providing advice and information to the general public, to health professionals and to national and local government.

The HPA was set up as a special health authority (SpHA) in 2003 by the government as a part of its integrated approach to protecting UK public health through the provision of support and advice to the NHS, local authorities, emergency services, other Arms Length Bodies, the Department of Health and the Devolved Administrations.


Its activities include:

  • providing evidence-based data and information to government to help inform its decision making
  • preparing the nation for future threats to health that could happen naturally, accidentally or deliberately
  • identifying and responds to health hazards and emergencies caused by infectious disease, hazardous chemicals, poisons or radiation
  • giving the public advice on how to stay healthy and avoid health hazards
  • advising people working in healthcare.

Fundamentally, the agency exists to help protect the health of everyone in the UK.[1]

The HPA's Radiation Protection Division (formerly the National Radiological Protection Board) is a non-departmental public body whose operating costs were £362 Million in 2010, of which nine per cent was spent by the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards. [2]


The HPA's Board comprises both non-executive and executive members.[3]

Non-executive members[4]

Executive members[5]


  1. HPA, HPA What the Health Protection Agency does Accessed 12 August 2009.
  2. HPA Annual report 2010
  3. HPA, HPA What the Health Protection Agency does Accessed 12 August 2009.
  4. HPA. HPA Board Members Accessed 12 August 2009.
  5. HPA. HPA Board Members Accessed 12 August 2009.