Appointment of new national medical director for primary care with NHS England

Professor Claire Fuller, Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership’s chief executive, has been offered the position of national medical director for primary care with NHS England, following six years with Surrey.

Speaking on her appointment, Professor Fuller states: “Primary care is where the NHS becomes part of patients’ lives in the most local, familiar and continuous way. It is where decisions you make with patients can shape the rest of their lives, and it’s where you have the privilege of following their lives and being part of their communities. I hope to bring that essence, which underpinned the Fuller Stocktake, to this role where I will both champion primary care, its teams, professionals and partners, but also provide accountability to them and, most importantly, the patients we serve and the communities we are a part of.”

With Professor Fuller’s new role due to start on the 18th of September, Karen McDowell, current chief operating officer and deputy chief executive, will be acting as chief executive “for the short to medium term while the NHS Surrey Heartlands Board works with NHS England to appoint a successor”.

Councillor Tim Oliver, chair of Surrey Heartlands ICP and leader of Surrey County Council, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Claire for her enormous contribution to Surrey Heartlands and for the tangible difference her leadership has made to patients and the public, including overseeing our health response during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In other news from Surrey Heartlands, we covered the release of the HCP’s newest strategy earlier this year, which aims to improve patient care outcomes through a more joined up, integrated approach.

We also looked at Surrey Heartlands ICS’s United People Strategy late last year, which recognised findings from the Fuller Stocktake which “called for new integrated neighbourhood teams to provide more holistic care for the most vulnerable members of our communities”.