Short cuts

Published: 15/01/2004, Volume II4, No. 5888 Page 8

Recent research which argued that the UK needs both new public health legislation and an overarching statutory body has been fiercely rebuffed by bodies including the Health Protection Agency and the Environment Agency.At a conference last week, organised to discuss Nuffield Trust report The Case for a New Health of the People Act, HPA chief executive Dr Pat Troop said a restructuring was unnecessary: 'We already have organisations with the power and the responsibility and a change of law does not achieve things by itself.'Environment Agency chief executive Baroness Young said the HPA 'should be given a year or three to bed in'.They were responding to research presented by Cardiff health board public health director Steve Monaghan which argues that public health suffers from a weak and fragmented infrastructure and legislation base (Ideas, pages 18-19, 8 January).

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