Simon Stevens was a formidable NHS Chief Executive, we have much to thank him for. Our relationship was productive, professional and rooted in partnership. Amanda Pritchard is a brilliant successor, and our relationship will flourish further.
Amanda’s experience, commitment, and compassion make her the right leader at the right time for the NHS as we plot our way out of the depths of this pandemic.
It is heartening to write about her as the most senior person in the NHS. The NHS as an employer, a movement, an idea is built on a majority female workforce, so I am delighted that in our 74th year we have extended that to the top job.
The challenges Amanda faces are legion. I’m not going to rehearse them here, except to say that Covid-19 has changed everything and made everything possible – there are so many opportunities as well as challenges. We should look forward with confidence and optimism beyond recovery towards improving what went before.
HEE stands with Amanda and her team in navigating what’s next because everything we want to do, every improvement we want to make, every step forward we want to take relies on having the right people, with the right skills, values and behaviours in the right place at the right time.
HEE and NHSE/I worked together to create the NHS Long Term Plan and the People Plan that underpins its delivery. We are working jointly through our regions to embed Regional People Boards and Integrated Care Systems, as well as delivering 50,000 more nurses, improving mental health services, and expanding primary care.
Since I joined HEE last October, Sir David Behan and I have preached partnership, cooperation, collaboration and alignment as the best way for the health and care system to deliver now and prepare for the future.
Our relationship with NHSE/I has continued to grow over that time, our ability to align service, financial and workforce planning has improved, and as NHSE/I take its next steps with a new leader we will continue to walk in lockstep, each bringing our unique responsibilities, skills and knowledge to collective action.
I believe the focus on population health and integration as the building blocks of the health and care system is the most exciting development in my career.
I look forward to working with Amanda and others to create a long-term framework for workforce planning which will cement integration and population health as the core principles of the health and care system for generations to come.