NHS England appoint new Chief Executive Officer

Amanda Pritchard has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of NHS England.

Pritchard will be the first woman in the health service’s history to hold the post, which she will take up on Sunday, August 1st.

As NHS chief executive, she will be responsible for an annual budget of more than £130 billion while ensuring that everyone in the country receives high-quality care.

Simon Stevens announced in April that he was stepping down as NHS chief executive at the end of July after more than seven years in charge.

As Chief Operating Officer, Amanda Pritchard has overseen NHS operational performance and delivery, as well as the implementation of service transformation and patient care improvements set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Amanda Pritchard, incoming Chief Executive of NHS England, said:

“I am honoured to lead the NHS, particularly as the first woman chief executive of an organisation whose staff are more than three quarters female.

“I have always been incredibly proud to work in the health service but never more so than over the last 18 months as nurses, doctors, therapists, paramedics, pharmacists, porters, cleaners and other staff have responded so magnificently to the Covid pandemic.

“There are big challenges ahead as NHS staff continue to deal with significant pressures while maintaining the roll-out of the hugely successful NHS vaccination programme and tackle backlogs that have inevitably built up in the face of rising Covid infections.

“However the skill, determination and ‘can do’ spirit that NHS staff have shown in the face of the greatest challenge in the health service’s history means we face the future with confidence.”

Amanda takes up the role after serving as the NHS’ Chief Operating Officer (COO) for two years.

Her appointment follows an open and competitive recruitment process by the Board of NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has welcomed the news that Amanda Pritchard has been appointed as the first female chief executive of NHS England.

Thorrun Govind, Chair of RPS England, said:

“This appointment comes at a crucial time for the health service in England; recovering from the pandemic, with teams under continued pressure, growing demand on services, and forthcoming NHS reforms.

“Pharmacists and pharmacy teams have given their all during COVID-19 and amid all these changes it’s vital staff get the support they need.

“A key challenge for the NHS will be implementing new Integrated Care Systems and this must include a focus on medicines optimisation across care settings.

“I’d urge NHS England to ensure a voice for pharmacy to help make these changes a success .

“Delivering integrated health and care services throughout England will also depend on investment in our workforce and a long-overdue upgrade to health and care records,” Thorrun added.

“I look forward to working with Amanda and the NHS leadership on how pharmacists’ clinical expertise can support the NHS recovery, improve medicines safety, and deliver high-quality patient care for the future.”

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said:

“I am delighted Amanda has been appointed the new NHS chief executive, the first woman in the history of the health service to hold this post.

“This is a critical moment for the NHS as it continues to care for Covid patients whilst tackling treatment backlogs caused by the pandemic.

“Amanda’s experience and expertise mean she is perfectly placed to address these issues and more, and I look forward to working closely with her.

“I want to again thank Lord Stevens for his dedicated service and leadership for the past seven years – especially when facing the extraordinary pressures of the pandemic, and for his huge contribution to our vaccine rollout.”

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: 

“Over the past eighteen months NHS staff have faced their greatest challenge, and have proven time and time again that they deserve the nation’s gratitude for their fortitude and commitment.

“I thank Lord Stevens for his invaluable contribution during this time. During his seven year tenure he has been relentless in his tenacity and dedication to the NHS. I wish the very best in his new chapter and hope to continue to benefit from his counsel.

“It is a pleasure to announce that Amanda Pritchard will be the new Chief Executive of the NHS. Amanda brings an unparalleled wealth and depth of experience, having worked in the NHS for nearly twenty five years, and at this crucial moment for our country frontline staff will value her operational experience and steady hand.

“I look forward to working closely with Amanda on the challenges ahead, and am delighted we are appointing the first woman to the post in NHS history.

“I know she will support the NHS and its workforce of over a million people, and ensure the best possible care for our nation as we move forwards from this pandemic, and for many more years to come.”

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