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Published on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Former Thomas Cook marketing chief to head new public health body

A former retail marketing director of defunct Thomas Cook, Baroness Dido Harding, has become interim chief of the Government's new National Institute for Health Protection, which will replace Public Health England.

Dido worked for Thomas Cook in the late 1990s, before joining Woolworths, which has also since closed down.

She was made director of Thomas Cook's interactive operations in 1997 while remaining in charge of its retail division which, at that time, consisted of about 386 shops.

She also held senior roles at Sainsbury's, Tesco and TalkTalk, where she was CEO, before she became chair of NHS Improvement, which is responsible for England's NHS Test and Trace scheme.

Health secretary Matt Harding said that the National Institute for Health Protection will focus on preparing for external threats like pandemics. It will bring Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace, as well as the analytical capability of the Joint Biosecurity Centre.


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  • OMG!

    We are all doomed! Typical government - employ failures, so that you can blame them when it all goes wrong.

    By Peter M42, Thursday, August 20, 2020

  • bye bye

    Ms Harding, at Thomas Cook sales => Bye Bye Thomas Cook. Ms Harding at Woolworths => Bye Bye Woolworths Ms Harding In charge of Test & Trace => Bye Bye T+T app Ms Harding In charge of Public Health England => Bye Bye Public Health? Seems a reasonable assumption. Why is it the keeps giving posts to people who failed in their previous position and awarding contracts to firms that failed to deliver last time, and the time before... and the time before?

    By ex Severn, Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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