The Health Protection Agency's role is to provide an integrated approach to protecting UK public health through the provision of support and advice to the NHS, local authorities, emergency services, other Arms Length Bodies, the Department of Health and the Devolved Administrations. The Agency was established as a special health authority (SpHA) in 2003.
On 1 April 2005, the Agency was established as a non-departmental public body, replacing the HPA SpHA and the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) and with radiation protection as part of health protection incorporated in its remit.
The HPA has a large network of approximately 3500 staff based at four major centres (Colindale, Porton, Chilton and South Mimms) and regionally and locally throughout England. There is a small central office based in London. The Agency works closely with locally based colleagues employed within the Devolved Administrations.
The National Institute of Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) merged in to the Health Protection Agency on 1 April 2009. NIBSC is a world renowned institute and is a world leader in the standardisation and control of biological medicines such as vaccines and products made from blood and tissues..