MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY
PROVISION OF HEALTH ADVICE
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.
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.
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