Whilst it's early days for PHE, I am not sure the IFG's four types of AL body is helpful . Question: can a civil servant really provide independent advice? Have a look at the Civil Service code of Practice. Question: which other arms length bodies should PHE aspire to? NICE perhaps? NHS and social care IC or ONS? Are their staff civil servants? What discretion do they have? do they have Boards with real responsibilities? Because the KF said PHE should be in the tent doesn't mean that is the right answer. The jury's out on PHE.
Don't hold your breath, Bobby. What chance independence when PHE and many other health advisory bodies cannot be trusted to maintain their own websites (some of which were set up so as to underline their independence from government) the existing sites to be shortly subsumed within the monolithic gov.uk domain, one click away from DVLC and other such highly relevant information sources?