Dr Richard Pebody; Dr Mike Catchpole
HPA Centre for Infections
61 Colindale Avenue
NW9 5EQ London, United Kingdom
Tel +44 208 327 7423
Fax +44 208 200 7868
Description of the institute
In England, the Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections (HPA CFI, formerly the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, CDSC) is the national organisation responsible for detecting and controlling communicable diseases. It also incorporates the Health Protection Agency's former Specialist and Reference Microbiology Service Division (HPA-SRMSD). CFI is in Colindale, North London.
CDSC was set up in 1977 to provide 'a highly active information and coordination centre' for the surveillance and control of infectious disease in support of public health doctors and other local authorities concerned with communicable disease control. Joint working with Reference Microbiologists has commonly been undertaken, and has been enhanced by the joining together of HPA CDSC and HPA SRMD into one new centre in 2004.
The Centre's main public health functions are:
Surveillance of communicable disease. This involves the collection of data by routine reporting or special epidemiological surveys, the analysis of these data, their interpretation to provide information and the dissemination of this information to those who need it for preventive action. The main information output of the Centre is a weekly bulletin, the 'Health Protection Report'.
CFI manages a range of national reporting systems for communicable disease, including laboratory reporting, clinical reporting and statutory notification systems. CFI also makes use of data from many other sources in order to obtain a comprehensive picture of communicable disease in England and Wales.
Surveillance of immunisation and vaccination programmes. This comprises the continuous assessment of the effectiveness, safety and uptake of vaccines, particularly those in the routine immunisation schedule. It includes also the dissemination of information about vaccine surveillance to those concerned with immunisation and vaccination in the field.
Investigation and control of communicable disease. This function involves advice and support to public health physicians and others in the control of communicable disease. CFI staff take part in epidemiological investigation with their locally based public health physician colleagues, especially when a disease episode is of national importance or an outbreak is geographically widespread, and work closely with public health and hospital laboratories, NHS authorities and local authorities.
Epidemiological research. The CFI's research is service orientated and may be undertaken in association with academic departments or research institutes. It includes descriptive studies, analytical studies such as case-control studies or cohort studies, intervention studies and field trials of prophylactic agents.
Teaching and training in communicable disease epidemiology. The CFI's staff takes part in courses and seminars for public health specialists and others concerned with communicable disease control. The Centre provides facilities for attachment of trainees in public health epidemiology and microbiology to enable them to gain field experience of communicable disease investigation and control and to give them experience of surveillance of communicable diseases.
The EPIET fellow will have opportunities to participate in all main activities carried out by the CFI. Based on the fellow's previous experience and interest, appropriate assignments can be arranged.
A suitable trainer for the EPIET fellow will be identified for the period of his/her training. For specific tasks and assignments, the fellow will be supervised by the appropriate consultant for the particular project.
Number of EPIET fellows trained at institute: Thirteen (1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
Number of alumni at institute: Four ´
Available as a training site for cohort 15: Yes