The first woman to lead NHS England, Amanda Pritchard, has been appointed and will take up her post on Sunday August 1. She takes up the role after serving as the NHS’ Chief Operating Officer (COO) for two years.
As NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard 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 implementation of service transformation and patient care improvements set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.
The Chief Operating Officer is also accountable to the NHS Improvement Board as NHS Improvement’s designated accountable officer with regulatory responsibility for Monitor.
Amanda Pritchard began her NHS career as a graduate management trainee in 1997 after studying at Oxford University and has held a variety of other NHS management positions.
Before joining NHS England and NHS Improvement in 2019 she served as Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London and was also Deputy Chief Executive at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust.
Commenting on her appointment, 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.”
Lord David Prior, Chair of the NHS England Board, said: “I am delighted that Amanda Pritchard has been appointed the new chief executive of the NHS.
“She could have had no better preparation for the role than serving as the NHS’ Chief Operating Officer during the greatest health emergency in its history.
”Amanda is imbued with the values of the NHS and is perfectly qualified to lead the health service through challenging times.
“She has had first-hand experience of implementing digital technologies and worked closely with the Life Sciences industry and recognises how both can transform the way health care is delivered. She will build a great team and I and the Board look forward to working with her.
“I would again like to offer my thanks and best wishes to Simon Stevens who so successfully led the NHS for the last seven years including, of course, the pandemic, the greatest challenge this country has faced since the second world war.”