Sir Simon Stevens will leave his role as NHS Chief Executive in July of this year, it was announced this week, and the organisation aims to have his successor in place by the 31st of July.
Sir Simon has become a recognisable and key figure over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, appearing alongside the Prime Minister on several occasions, to represent the NHS, he oversaw the initial wave of coronavirus in March 2020.
Sir Simon will depart into the House of Lords as a life peer after previously stating he would step down this winter, but it was later agreed he would continue in his role as Chief Executive to oversee the continued NHS response to the pandemic and the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible adults.
Notable achievements during his time at the NHS include merging NHS England with NHS Improvement, receiving a knighthood from the Queen for services to health and the NHS, integrating care systems across England, introduced the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard to analyse and consider racial inequalities in the NHS, and overseeing the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
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. The people of this country have rightly recognised the extraordinary service of NHS staff during this terrible pandemic, as well as the success of our covid vaccination deployment. As the pandemic recedes in this country, the NHS’s track record in advancing medical progress in a way that works for everyone rightly continues to inspire young people to join one of the greatest causes – health and high-quality care for all, now and for future generations.”
Sir Simon joined the NHS through a graduate management programme and has held various roles across the organisation, working on the frontline and in the public and private sectors.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: “Sir Simon has led the NHS with great distinction for the past seven years. I want to thank him for his dedicated service throughout – but especially when facing the extraordinary pressures of the past year, and for his huge contribution to our vaccine rollout.”