Public Health England Chief on his “Postage Stamp” Public Health Credentials mdi-fullscreen

After a litany of failures by Public Health England throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, attention must turn to the unaccountable leadership of Duncan Selbie. When taking up the Chief Executive role upon the busybody quango’s founding in 2013, Guido’s archive digging has discovered that Selbie himself professed “you can fit my public health credentials on a postage stamp, but this is what I want to do for the next number of years because it matters so much.” Another stellar appointment by the UK’s ‘world-renowned’ civil service…

The 2013 article in the Lancet observes “Selbie’s career has been remarkable considering he has no medical or substantial academic qualifications”, with the newly-appointed Chief Executive claiming that because he was “not a public health professional… “I need to listen. That is the strength I uniquely bring”. Over the last few months, Selby’s great listening ability has led to:

  • PHE being placed under urgent review after a “staggering fiasco” in counting Covid deaths
  • Responsibility for failing to ramp up testing capacity sufficiently enough
  • Devoteding time during Coronavirus to pushing for interventionist 20% sugar reductions

What is it about appointing clueless Civil Service generalists to critical specialist roles? Incidentally, why does Matthew Gould still have a job at NHSX?

The Financial Times reports that PHE will be “toast” when the pandemic is over. Perhaps its future would be less uncertain had they appointed a CEO with an ounce of public health experience seven years ago…

Read the Lancet article in full below:

mdi-tag-outline Public Health England
mdi-account-multiple-outline Duncan Selbie
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