This week is a year since we detected the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK and so a fitting time to thank everyone on behalf of Public Health England. The past year has certainly been the most challenging period we have ever faced in many decades. This novel virus has affected communities across the country, leaving no one untouched. We have had to radically change the way we work, in constantly changing circumstances under intense scrutiny and pressure.
I want to thank you, my colleagues across the public health system, for your professionalism, hard work and dedication to the communities you serve. Your commitment to solving some of the most difficult challenges we have ever known is inspirational.
We have worked together and learnt from each other showing the strength of our relationship, something I want us to build on as we move to the next phase of the public health system in England.
We have a duty to help keep the public safe and I am immensely proud of all that we have achieved together. I will be working with you to develop a truly integrated approach to the new public health system, using the experience and learning from this pandemic to date.
In time the pressures will ease, and we will all look back at this period with humility but also with a deep sense of our commitment to the public’s health. Thank you again for everything you have done.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England