UCL News


UCL professor named NHS medical director

9 November 2017

Professor Stephen Powis (UCL Division of Medicine) has been named medical director of NHS England.

Stephen Powis

He is succeeding a fellow UCL academic, Sir Bruce Keogh, who was previously Professor of Cardiac Surgery at UCL and is stepping down from his post at the end of 2017. The current chair of NHS England is former UCL Provost, Professor Sir Malcolm Grant.

Professor Powis is stepping down from his role as chief medical officer at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. He is currently professor of renal medicine at UCL and has been medical director at the Royal Free for almost 12 years. He will take up his new role at NHS England at the start of next year.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: "We are delighted to appoint Steve Powis as the new medical director for NHS England. He brings first-hand experience of frontline care as well as a practical track record of driving major innovation and service improvement."

Professor Powis has held leadership positions in a range of organisations across the health sector, including interim chair of the North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, chair of the Association of UK Hospitals medical directors' group and a board member of Medical Education England. He is a past chairman of the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board specialty advisory committee for renal medicine. He was director of postgraduate medical and dental education for UCLPartners from 2010 to 2013. He is also a member of the Merton Clinical Commissioning Group governing body. His main clinical interest is renal transplantation.

Professor Powis said: "I feel tremendously privileged to be taking on the role of NHS England national medical director, providing a clear clinical voice and vision for the NHS. I am particularly humbled to be taking over from Sir Bruce Keogh who has done so much to put quality at the heart of all we do. My task is to ensure we remain relentlessly focussed on health improvement and achieving the best possible outcomes for our patients."

Professor Powis will take up his new role at NHS England at the start of next year.

Professor David Lomas (UCL Vice-Provost, Health) said: "I'm delighted that Professor Steve Powis has been confirmed as medical director of NHS England, where he will be promoting clinical leadership, quality and innovation. He is ideal for the role, bringing a wealth of experience in clinical care, academia and health care management, and is a prime example of UCL's close collaboration with our partner hospitals to develop and deliver outstanding patient care. He has demonstrated his leadership skills in organisations across the sector and I look forward to him bringing a similar sense of strategic direction to this role."

Professor Keogh said: "It has been an honour to serve as national medical director for the past decade. Having worked with Stephen, I know he will be a standard bearer for clinical excellence and patient centred care."

In a joint statement, the Royal Free London's group chairman, Dominic Dodd, and group chief executive, Sir David Sloman, said: "We know we speak for all of Steve's colleagues at the Royal Free London in saying what a privilege it has been to work with someone of his talent, integrity and good humour. Our patients and staff owe him a great deal for all of his many contributions over the last 12 years. So, on their behalf, thank you Steve and we wish you every success in taking on this important national role at such a crucial time for the NHS."