The Health Protection Agency (HPA)

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) was set up in 2003 as a special health authority and was directly accountable to the Secretary of State for Health. It was charged with protecting the health of UK citizens against infectious diseases and preventing harm resulting from industrial incidents.

The HPA's functions included providing impartial advice and information to professionals, the public and government on health protection matters. It was also responsible for acting, as well as supporting other organisations (such as the NHS) to act, to protect the public from infectious diseases, chemical and radiation hazards and other public health threats.

Additionally, the HPA had a role in monitoring and tackling new public health challenges and improving knowledge on health protection issues. The HPA took on the functions of the Public Health Laboratory Service, the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research and the National Focus for Chemical Incidents.

Under the Health Protection Act 2004, the HPA was established as a non-departmental public body, incorporating the National Radiological Protection Board. This merger meant a wider range of functions for the HPA.


Public Health England.
The history of the Health Protection Agency 2003-2013.
Public Health England; 2013.

Health Protection Agency Act 2004.

House of Commons Library.
Health Protection Agency Bill.
House of Commons Library; 2004.