The Gov.uk website confirms that Bailey took up the post, which is likely to see him working closely with Freud Communications, last month.
He had been acting director of comms at the Department of Health - the role had been vacant since July when Sam Lister joined the newly merged Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
Prior to that, Bailey was head of news at the department, and before this was associate director of comms at NHS England, and worked at the Department for Education and its predecessor the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
According to Gov.UK, Bailey is "is responsible for building and maintaining Public Health England’s reputation as a trusted and expert source of authoritative evidence-based public health advice, information and leadership", which includes "provision of 24/7 communications support to PHE leadership and staff, stakeholders and the media".
Emily Collins had been acting comms chief for PHE since April, when Lis Birrane retired. Birrane had been with the organisation since it was formed, and before that worked for the Health Protection Agency, one of the largest of the more than 70 organisations from which it was formed in 2013.
Freuds has worked with Public Health England since its foundation - and with Government before that - on various health campaigns, including Stoptober and Cannes Lions nominated work for Change4Life (see below).