Select Committee on European Communities Eleventh Report


APPENDIX 5

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

PROVISION OF HEALTH ADVICE

Agreement

1.  The Department of Health (the Department) undertakes to provide to the Environment Agency (EA) advice on the human health aspects of the Agency's responsibilities for the management and regulation of the water environment and the control of industrial pollution and wastes.

Consultation Routes

2.  The first point of contact for advice on the health aspects of a local incident or issue should be the local health authority's District Director of Public Health (DPH). The DPHs have access to specialist advice on chemical and microbiological incidents from centres of expertise within the UK.

3.  In the event of health advice being required on a general issue relating to chemical or microbiological contamination or when there is a need to notify the Department of a major incident, the first point of contact will be the Head of the Department's Environment Branch (Mrs J R Walden, 0171-972 -5003). In the event of advice being required on an issue relating to ionising or non-ionising radiation, the point of contact will be the Head of the Department's Environmental Hazards and NDPB Sponsorship Branch (Dr E Smales, 0171-972-5116). The main point of contact on health issues generally, and in relation to policy matters, within the EA will be the Agency's Chief Scientist and Director of Environmental Strategy (Dr R J Pentreath, 01454-624-400). He will also meet formally with the Head of the Department's Protection of Health (PH) Division (Dr E Rubery) at least on an annual basis in order to maintain a high level overview of relations between the EA and the Department.

4.  The EA will have access to the Government's Chief Medical Officer (CMO), who will provide advice and speak on environmental health issues as necessary.

5.  Where both the Department and the EA agree that expert advice is required on a complex issue, this can be referred to the appropriate CMO expert advisory committee.

Information to Health Professionals

6.  Information concerning environmental health issues which the Environment Agency wishes to be made known to health professionals can be disseminated via the relevant information systems available to the Department, e.g. the CMO Update or, in exceptional circumstances, EPINET.

Variations

7.  Any proposed variations to the terms of this Memorandum of Understanding will be discussed between the Department of Health and the Environment Agency and will be implemented only by mutual agreement.




Signed on 11 June 1998 by
DR E RUBERY
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Signed on 15 June 1998 by
DR E GALLAGHER
ENVIRONMENT AGENCY


 
previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1999