Responding to the departure of Sir Simon Stevens as NHS England Chief Executive, Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation said:
'Simon’s expert leadership over the last 7 years has led to significant investment and a clear long-term vision for the NHS, progress on improving and joining up care, and the highly competent management of the biggest challenge it has ever faced – the pandemic – all crowned with the successful vaccine roll out.
All this should be seen alongside the longer contribution for more than 30 years, including as a NHS management trainee in Tyneside in the late 1980s, and being a central architect of major reforms to the NHS during the 2000s working at the Department of Health and then at Number 10 as Prime Minister Tony Blair’s advisor on health. Strategically astute, with unrivalled tactical know-how, high rational and analytical ability, combined with deep values has meant Simon has been outstandingly effective. Simon’s contribution to the NHS has been immense and singular, and we are all very much in his debt.
Simon's departure comes at a crucial point for the NHS as it grapples with ongoing demands due to the pandemic, unprecedented waiting lists, exhausted staff and how to make progress towards the improvements in the NHS Long Term Plan. It is also a time of opportunity, to harness technology and new ways of delivering care to improve access, quality and productivity, as well as the deep commitment and professionalism of its staff. These are just some of the items at the top of the new chief executive’s in-tray.'
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