Dr Daniela Fecht, MRC-PHE Centre member meets Michael Gove

(Photo courtesy of Imperial College)

Dr Daniela Fecht, whose research at Imperial College estimates the possible health-related costs to the NHS and social care due to air pollution, met with Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 

Michael Gove visited the Data Science Institute at Imperial College London, South Kensington campus, to launch the government’s Air Quality Strategy; more detail on the visit on the Imperial website. 

Dr Fecht was amongst Imperial researcher invited to present their air pollution-related work to the Secretary of State.  Dr Fecht was introduced to Michael Gove by the Prof Yvonne Doyle, Regional Direct for Public Health, London, and presented her Public Health England funded work in collaboration with UK Health Forum and the Imperial Business School. The research highlights the potential health care costs due to exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which are estimated to reach up to £18.6 billion by the year 2035. Both pollutants have been targeted under a government strategy. In collaboration with the UK Health Forum, Dr Fecht also introduced a tool which allows Local Authorities to predict NHS and social care costs under different air pollution scenarios up to 2035. Mr Gove was particularly interested in this part of the research, as it lends a focus on the possible monetary cost to local governments which may be incurred, should air pollution levels remain at current levels. The tool therefore provides local authorities for the first time the option to economically justify air pollution reduction schemes as envisaged in the governments Air Quality Strategy. More information on the study and the findings can be found on the PHE website