Matt Hancock coronavirus speech: What time is the public health announcement today?

MATT Hancock is set to give a speech about 'the future of public health' today amid reports that Public Health England is set to be scrapped.

Here's everything you need to know about the Health Secretary's announcement.

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What time is Matt Hancock's speech today?

Matt Hancock is expected to take to the stage at 11.30 this morning to outline his plans for health.

He will be speaking from the Policy Exchange building in Westminster and his speech will run for about 50 minutes.

What is the health secretary expected to announce?

Speculation has mounted that Mr Hancock plans to scrap Public Health England (PHE) following the body's handling of the pandemic.

Some in government have been reportedly unhappy with the way PHE dealt with the coronavirus crisis, leading to the expectation it will be overhauled.

Baroness Dido Harding, who has been running the Track and Trace scheme in England, will be the temporary appointment of whatever new body takes PHE's place.

What is Public Health England and will it be scrapped?

Public Health England is an executive arm of the Department for Health and Social Care.

It came into being in 2013 under David Cameron's coalition government and replaced a handful of health organisations.

It exists to help carry out government policy regarding health and prepare the nation for health-related problems through research and data.

PHE also supports local authorities and connects government to the NHS.

The body has been strongly criticised for decisions made during the coronavirus pandemic, most chiefly the controversial call to abandon track and trace in March.

But its defenders say it has become a scapegoat to cover the government's own failings when dealing with Covid-19.

 

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