No 10 to hire 'Head of Pandemic Preparedness' six months into UK outbreak
The Government is looking for for a ‘Head of Pandemic Preparedness’ to help ‘learn the lessons’ of the coronavirus pandemic.
Internal applicants for the newly created £61,000 job will be interviewed by the Department of Health in the first two weeks of December.
The advert, shared on the Government’s internal system says whoever gets the job will be tasked with implementing ‘lessons learned’ from Covid-19, including ‘reviewing our approach to pandemic stockpilling’, the Mirror reports.
In April Health Secretary Matt Hancock came under fire for a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment including masks and gowns.
When he announced that over one billion items had been moved across the UK, it emerged that surgical gloves made up more than half of these products, with each pair counting as two individual units.
The job will be within the Emergency and Health Protection Directorate, which the advert says ‘plays a vital role in preparing for and responding to all types of national incidents, such as diseases, outbreaks or terrorist attacks’. It will also involve also ‘providing policy leadership across the health and care system’ to prepare the nation for future health crises.
Labour’s Shadow Health Minister Justin Madders said: ‘We needed Government to be prepared to face a pandemic but this feels like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
‘It’s very clear now how ill prepared the nation was at the outset and how they failed to heed the warnings from numerous exercises.’
The Department of Health and Social care spokesperson said: ‘This is not a brand new role – we have had an experienced pandemic preparedness team in place for many years who have covered these responsibilities across a number of different posts. This simply reflects an expansion and merging of different teams.’