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At the heart of general practice since 1960

DH appoints new Chief Medical Officer

By Lilian Anekwe

The Department of Health has confirmed that Dame Sally Davies, the current interim chief medical officer, will officially take up the post – becoming the first woman to take the role.

Several candidates were interviewed for the role, including former RCGP chair Professor Steve Field, who launched several high-profile public health campaigns when leading the College.

But Professor Field missed out in favour of current acting CMO Dame Sally, who rose to prominence leading the Department's of Health's response during the last winter flu season.

The CMO is the Government's most senior medical advisor, responsible for providing expert advice on a wide range of issues relating to the health of the nation, including the handling of health related emergencies.

Dame Sally, who has been interim CMO since May, will take up the post with immediate effect.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘I am delighted that Sally has been appointed Chief Medical Officer. She will play a key role in developing the new public health service, shaping the way the Department improves and protects the public's health. I look forward to working closely with her.'

Some of Dame Sally's first tasks include creating a public health service for England and overseeing the implementation of the public health white paper.

Dame Sally Davies on what the NHS reforms mean for public health

Dame Sally Davies

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