HPA to be axed26th July 2010
Andrew Lansley has announced that the Health Protection Agency is to be closed.
The HPA, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) and 15 other "arms-length bodies" are due to be shut down or incorporated into other organisations.
The HPA, which has had responsibility for dealing with public health issues such as swine flu, will transfer its workload to the Secretary of State.
Mr Lansley explained that the government wanted to save money and reduce bureaucracy in the health service.
The government plans to save £180 million in the next two or three years by closing down the bodies.
Mr Lansley said: "Over the years the sector has grown to the point where overlap between organisations and duplication of effort have produced a needless bureaucratic web."
"By making sure that the right functions are being carried out at the appropriate level, we will free up significant savings to support front-line NHS services", he added.
Peter Walsh, chief executive of the charity Action against Medical Accidents, said it was true that the work of some of the bodies could be brought together, but it was important to "avoid the danger that work on patient safety could be watered down in the new arrangements".
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