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Sir Simon Stevens announces he is to step down from NHS role

The Chief Executive of the NHS, Sir Simon Stevens, has formally notified the NHS England board of his decision to step down as planned at the end of July.

Sir Stevens has spent more than seven years in his current role and helped oversee significant change across the health service, from service delivery and structural changes through to increased focus on the NHS’ environmental impact.

Directly accountable to Parliament for the management of the NHS’s annual funding, within Sir Stevens’ role he has oversaw a number of transformative programmes and the launching of both in 2014 the Five Year Forward View and in January 2019, the NHS Long Term Plan.

Sir Simon Stevens said: “Joining the health service in my early twenties was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, followed three decades later by the privilege of leading the NHS through some of the toughest challenges in its history.”

It has been understood that Sir Stevens’ time at NHS England would be coming to an end, with the NHS Chief Executive staying on longer at request over the winter period. Today formally confirmed his departure from his currently role.

Sir Stevens was knighted in 2020 for services to health and the NHS, and will now join the House of Lords as a peer.

A number of potential successors have been mooted to replace Sir Stevens including Chief Operating Officer of NHS England and NHS Improvement, Amanda Pritchard, and Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Sir Jim Mackey, who has previously spent two years running NHS Improvement.

Baroness Dido Harding has also controversially been linked with the potential role, but has faced criticism over the performance of the NHS Test and Trace programme which she oversaw.

No official decision on a replacement has been made, and would be formally made by NHS England’s board.

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