NHS appoints leading medic to new transformation post

NHS England and NHS Improvement have today appointed Dr Timothy Ferris as Director of Transformation.

Dr Ferris, who has served as a non-executive director of NHS Improvement for almost three years, is internationally renowned for his pioneering work on improving health and care in both hospital and community settings.

He will lead the new Transformation Directorate, bringing together the organisation’s operational improvement team and NHSX, the digital arm, to maintain the pace of innovation seen during the pandemic.

Dr Ferris joins the NHS full-time from the not-for-profit Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, where he is chief executive, and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He founded the Center for Population Health, which champions the use of prevention and data to improve health, reduce inequalities, and save lives.

Welcoming the appointment, NHS England chair Lord David Prior said: “The NHS has some of the most impressive and talented people in the world, and Dr Ferris has already shown as one of our NHS non-executive directors a passion for all that is best about our health service, as well as a global track record of driving practical change for the benefit of patients and communities.”

Dr Tim Ferris said: “The NHS and its staff have responded magnificently to the COVID-19 pandemic and I’m proud and excited to take up this role as the health service integrates convenient yet cutting-edge technology into patient care. The successful NHS vaccine programme and development of new therapies for COVID-19 has shown that the NHS can be hugely agile and innovative. I look forward to playing my part in ensuring that the NHS continues to stay at the forefront of developing and adopting new technologies and treatments to improve health and treatment.”

NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “The NHS has had an extraordinary year in which our staff have innovated in response to COVID-19, developing ground-breaking treatments and care. As a physician-leader with a global reputation, Dr Ferris will help drive and embed this momentum and ‘can do’ spirit, as we move beyond the pandemic.”

NHS National Medical Director Prof Stephen Powis said: “Dr Ferris is known and respected around the world as a clinician who is determined to drive improvements in care and treatment for patients. In his new role with the NHS he will help ensure that the health service remains at the forefront of developing and adopt the latest innovations in technology, treatment and care.”

Matthew Gould, NHS England National Director for Digital Transformation and the Chief Executive of NHSX said: “Dr Ferris’ appointment is excellent news for the NHS, and for driving its digitally-led transformation. Over the past year, NHSX has helped the health and care system bring virtual consultations, remote working and remote monitoring of patients at home into the mainstream. Today’s news is another step putting digital transformation at the heart of the NHS, and accelerating the pace of transformation.”

Hugh McCaughey, NHS England National Director of Improvement, said: “The appointment of Dr Ferris, who has a successful track record of leading improvement and transformation, is exciting news and I look forward to working with him as we support the creation of a culture of continuous improvement throughout the NHS.”

Dr Ferris will move to England and take up the post on secondment in May.