NHS England announces new National Medical Director

NHS England has today announced that Professor Stephen Powis has been appointed as its new National Medical Director. The role was subject to open competition and the appointment made by the Board of NHS England.

Professor Powis, 57, is currently Group Chief Medical Officer at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, and will succeed Professor Sir Bruce Keogh in his national role in the New Year. He is currently a practicing hospital consultant, a Professor of Renal Medicine at University College London as well as Chief Clinical Information Officer of the Royal Free Trust. He has also served on the board of an NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, as chair of the Association of UK University Hospitals medical directors group and a board member of Medical Education England. He was also director of postgraduate medical and dental education for UCLPartners from 2010 to 2013. He combines extensive experience of specialist medicine with a deep knowledge of the digital challenges and innovation opportunities confronting the NHS.

Simon Stevens said: “We are delighted to appoint Steve Powis as the new medical director for NHS England. He brings first hand experience of frontline care as well as a practical track record of driving major innovation and service improvement.”

Professor Powis said:  “I am incredibly proud of my 12 years as Royal Free London medical director, a period in which the organisation has gone from strength to strength. I am confident the trust’s hugely dedicated staff will continue to achieve great things, under the guidance of its outstanding leadership team.

“I feel tremendously privileged to be taking on the role of NHS England national medical director, providing a clear clinical voice and vision for the NHS and working with the medical profession to achieve that. I am particularly humbled to be taking over from Sir Bruce Keogh who has done so much to put quality at the heart of all we do. My task is to ensure we remain relentlessly focussed on health improvement and achieving the best possible outcomes for our patients.”

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said: “It has been an honour to serve as national medical director for the past decade. Having worked with Stephen, I know he will be a standard bearer for clinical excellence, professionalism and patient centred care.”

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh announced his departure in April. He has been appointed as Chair of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and will take up this role when he leaves NHS England at the end of the year.