New NHS CEO Appreciates the Importance Of Health Service Dentistry

New NHS CEO Appreciates the Importance Of Health Service Dentistry

“Dentistry is a hugely important service” says the new Chief Executive Officer of NHS England.

Amanda Pritchard was announced as the CEO of NHS England on Wednesday, and will be taking over from Lord (Simon) Stevens on August 1st.

Ms Pritchard is currently the Chief Operating Officer of NHS England and NHS Improvement and is also Lord Stevens' deputy.  

Announcing her appointment, the NHS website said that Ms Pritchard will be the first woman in the health service’s history, to hold the post.

“As NHS chief executive, she will be responsible for an annual budget of more than £130 billion while ensuring that everyone in the country receives high quality care,” the website said.

In 2020, Ms Pritchard gave oral evidence to the parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee on the ‘Delivery of Core NHS and Care Services during the pandemic and beyond.’

Ms Pritchard told the committee “Dentistry is a hugely important service. We are very much aware that the whole of the dental sector has, as has the rest of the NHS, stepped up through the Covid crisis despite considerable pressures on their services.”

“Our particular responsibility is to NHS dental practitioners. What we have done is maintain a roll-over contract model from last year, so that there is stability and a reliable source of income that is separated from the amount of activity that is being done at the moment.

“In common with the rest of the NHS, there are real constraints around the productivity that dental services are able to operate. At the moment, balancing safety and patient needs, we absolutely support dentists making some local judgments about what the right balance is to make sure they are able to operate safely.”

“From an NHS perspective, we are working closely with the BDA around things like PPE costs. We are conscious, as has been mentioned, that both the demand for PPE and the price of PPE has risen, so we are very keen to continue working with the BDA to make sure that we support NHS dentists through that.”

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, told the NHS website “I am delighted Amanda has been appointed (as) the new NHS chief executive, the first woman in the history of the health service to hold this post.”

“This is a critical moment for the NHS as it continues to care for Covid patients whilst tackling treatment backlogs caused by the pandemic.”

“Amanda’s experience and expertise mean she is perfectly placed to address these issues and more, and I look forward to working closely with her.”

“I want to again thank Lord Stevens for his dedicated service and leadership for the past seven years – especially when facing the extraordinary pressures of the pandemic, and for his huge contribution to our vaccine rollout.”

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said “Over the past eighteen months NHS staff have faced their greatest challenge, and have proven time and time again that they deserve the nation’s gratitude for their fortitude and commitment.

“It is a pleasure to announce that Amanda Pritchard will be the new Chief Executive of the NHS. Amanda brings an unparalleled wealth and depth of experience, having worked in the NHS for nearly twenty-five years, and at this crucial moment for our country frontline staff will value her operational experience and steady hand.

Lord David Prior, Chair of the NHS England Board, said “I am delighted that Amanda Pritchard has been appointed the new chief executive of the NHS.

“She could have had no better preparation for the role than serving as the NHS’ Chief Operating Officer during the greatest health emergency in its history.

”Amanda is imbued with the values of the NHS and is perfectly qualified to lead the health service through challenging times.

Lord Stevens announced in that he was stepping down as NHS chief in April. He spent more than seven years in charge.

“As Chief Operating Officer, Amanda Pritchard has overseen NHS operational performance and delivery, as well as implementation of service transformation and patient care improvements set out in the NHS Long Term Plan,” the NHS website said.

Before joining NHS England and NHS Improvement in 2019 she served as Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London,  and also served as Deputy Chief Executive at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust.

Ms Pritchard told the NHS website “I am honoured to lead the NHS, particularly as the first woman chief executive of an organisation whose staff are more than three quarters female.”

“I have always been incredibly proud to work in the health service but never more so than over the last 18 months as nurses, doctors, therapists, paramedics, pharmacists, porters, cleaners and other staff have responded so magnificently to the Covid pandemic.”

“There are big challenges ahead as NHS staff continue to deal with significant pressures while maintaining the roll-out of the hugely successful NHS vaccination programme and tackle backlogs that have inevitably built up in the face of rising Covid infections.”

“However the skill, determination and ‘can do’ spirit that NHS staff have shown in the face of the greatest challenge in the health service’s history means we face the future with confidence.”

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