Public Health England will have a new medical director and director of health protection in May, the agency announced today.

Yvonne Doyle will take on the dual role having been PHE’s London regional director since the arms-length body was formed in 2013.

The new job will include leading the agency’s work on the prevention and control of infectious diseases and environmental hazards, as well as “ensuring effective planning and responses to public health emergencies throughout England”.

She will replace Paul Cosford who has filled the role since was formed. Professor Cosford announced last year that he has terminal lung cancer however he will continue to work with PHE as “emeritus medical director”, involved in some of PHE’s global health work.

In a statement, Professor Doyle said: “I am delighted to take on this challenge and I look forward to learning from Paul and working with him in his new role.”

PHE’s chief executive, Duncan Selbie, said: “Yvonne’s knowledge, expertise and experience will further strengthen our work in promoting the health and wellbeing of the nation.”

“Paul has superbly navigated our first six years,” Mr Selbie added. “I am delighted that he will still be lending his expertise to PHE as he takes the lead on global health as emeritus medical director.”