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Former RCGP chair quits NHSE to become New Zealand CMO

Former RCGP chair quits NHSE to become New Zealand CMO

Former RCGP chair Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard has been appointed as New Zealand’s national chief medical officer (CMO). 

The appointment, effective from October, means she will step down from her role as the only GP on NHS England’s board at the end of September.

Professor Stokes-Lampard, who was RCGP chair from 2016 to 2019, has served as one of NHS England’s non-executive directors since January this year.

As well as working as a GP in the West Midlands, Professor Stokes-Lampard has held several medical leadership positions, including chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges until 2023 and a founding chair of the National Academy for Social Prescribing. 

In the 2022 New Year’s Honours, she was awarded a damehood for ‘services to general practice’.

She will also be stepping down from her position at the University of Birmingham where she has worked as a professor of GP education.

Health New Zealand (Te Whatu Ora) said Professor Stokes-Lampard is ‘genuinely excited about moving to New Zealand’ and that their strategies and values ‘struck a chord’ with her when deciding to apply for the role. 

The organisation’s chief clinical officer Richard Sullivan added: ‘These align closely with her own passion for health and care that places the whole person at the heart of a system that seeks to prevent illness and promote wellbeing, as well as to heal.’

Of her time on the NHSE board, Professor Stokes-Lampard said it has been a ‘fascinating experience’ and that she is ‘so sorry’ to be leaving ‘so soon’. 

‘I am confident that we will remain connected as I start my new role and look forward to sharing learning across the miles, to the benefit of the healthcare systems in both the UK and New Zealand,’ she added.

NHS England chair Richard Meddings said that during her ‘relatively short time’ on the board, Professor Stokes-Lampard has ‘made a significant contribution’, particularly with her ‘practical experience in primary care’. 

NHSE will be looking to appoint a new non-executive director to ‘further strengthen the skillset’ of the board, it added.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Anonymous 25 June, 2024 4:14 pm

Money makes the world go round.

Michael Mullineux 25 June, 2024 4:23 pm

As general practice crumbles and disintigrates, actions trumping words, as she joins many thousands deserting this sinking ship

Dave Haddock 25 June, 2024 5:57 pm

If only the rest of the RCGP could be persuaded to go too.

Sam Macphie 25 June, 2024 6:13 pm

Did she ever truly believe in the NHS, I wonder? Perhaps she became disenchanted.
I don’t know if it’s better to be a ‘non-executive’; maybe someone can voice an opinion?

So the bird flew away 25 June, 2024 6:54 pm

@sam.mcphie, I thought you were going to say something like Helen Lights-Lamposts…goodbye and goodnight 😉

Waseem Jerjes 25 June, 2024 7:11 pm

“fascinating experience” for you … terrible experience for us … I only hope we have a better replacement … a replacement that believes in our profession

Born Jovial 26 June, 2024 5:30 am

I wish her and the people of New Zealand all the best.
I think her practice was in the news recently

Born Jovial 26 June, 2024 5:32 am

I wish her and the people of New Zealand all the best.
I think her practice in Lichfield was in the news recently

Centreground Centreground 26 June, 2024 12:12 pm

I have recently advised someone to stay in New Zealand until the UK situation improves- Is the other side of the world not far enough ??

Post Doc 26 June, 2024 1:17 pm

Unfortunately NHSE won’t get the irony of their only GP board member heading for the Antipodes.

Andrew Jackson 26 June, 2024 4:22 pm

We were ‘led’ by someone who probably didn’t really care because they always had an exit plan. No wonder the profession is in such a state.