'Getting ahead of the curve - A strategy for combating infectious diseases'

10 January 2002

The Chief Medical Officer, Liam Donaldson, published Getting ahead of the curve - a strategy for combating infectious diseases, following a pledge to produce such a strategy in the government's white paper Saving lives: our healthier nation.

The document detailed the threat of infectious diseases and the actions planned to tackle these and future threats. The government proposed to establish a new National Infection Control and Health Protection Agency, which would amalgamate the functions of:

  • the Public Health Laboratory Service
  • the National Radiological Protection Board
  • the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research
  • the National Focus for Chemical Incidents.

The purpose of this amalgamation and creation of the National Infection Control and Health Protection Agency was to ensure an integrated approach to protecting the public from infectious diseases and chemical and radiological hazards.

The new agency would also provide a local health protection service, in partnership with the NHS and local government. This was targeted at the prevention and investigation of infectious diseases and chemical and radiological hazards.

The paper also committed to ensuring a robust and wide system of infectious disease surveillance; instigating a programme of new vaccine development and a review of the law on infection control.

Source(s)

Department of Health.
Getting ahead of the curve - A Strategy for Infectious Diseases.
HMSO; 2002.