COVID-19 and the public health system The King’s Fund, supported by the Health Foundation, undertook this project to explore the local response to and recovery from COVID-19.

Directors of public health have a critical role in responding to the pandemic. Their expertise in population health and knowledge of infectious disease control are vital in addressing its immediate impact of COVID-19 on the health of their local populations as well as the ongoing economic impacts. Their understanding of local places and resources, and their wider role in local government, puts them at the centre of local decision-making that affects public health.

About the project

Supported by the Health Foundation, the King’s Fund undertook this project to explore the local response to and recovery from COVID-19. Our research captures a cross section of experiences of directors of public health – and of wider local leaders – in managing the immediate impact of the pandemic and its wider impacts on local systems, for example schools, housing and the local economy.

This knowledge captured by this project is key to understanding the effectiveness of the role of directors of public health, how they can be developed, and how re-emergence of coronavirus or similar viruses are dealt with in the future.

We published our joint report in September 2021.

Further reading


COVID-19 impact inquiry


This UK-wide inquiry explored the relationship between the pandemic and people's health and health...


Directors of public health and the COVID-19 pandemic

September 2021

Supported by the Health Foundation, the King’s Fund undertook a project to explore the local...

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