A UK-wide body, the Health Protection Agency's role is to provide an integrated approach to protecting public health.
Set up on April 1 2005, to replace the HPA special health authority and the National Radiological Protection Board, the HPA is now a non-departmental public body. The agency runs the Centre for Infections at Colindale, which is the base for communicable disease surveillance and specialist microbiology.
The Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards is based at Chilton and the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, focusing on applied microbiological research and emergency response, is based at Porton.
In addition to its role in reducing the dangers to health from infections, chemical and radiation hazards, it also advises, through the Department of Health, all government departments, local authorities and the devolved administrations.