At the end of last month, Amanda Pritchard was appointed as the new chief executive officer of NHS England, becoming the first woman in the health service’s history to hold the post.
She was, without doubt, the strongest and most appropriate candidate for the job but has big shoes to fill. Sir Simon Stevens held the role for just over seven years, steering the health service through the heights of its 70th anniversary and securing record funding, as well as the challenges of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic.
Upon his knighthood last year, the citation recognised how administrations across the political field ‘have all turned to him to fundamentally shape the health service’s strategic direction for the better’.
As a former Chief Operating Officer of NHS England and chief executive of NHS Improvement, Pritchard is well placed to continue the momentum of Steven’s successes. Much of the success is dependent upon how well the health service starts to tackle the backlogs that have built up in the face of rising coronavirus infections, especially if this winter makes that job more difficult than first envisioned.
All at Health Business thank Sir Simon for this work and wish Amanda all the best moving forward.