UK & World News
Labour Health Adviser To Become New NHS Chief
Simon Stevens, a former Labour health adviser is to be the new head of the NHS.
He will take on the role of chief executive of NHS England from April next year when the current boss, Sir David Nicholson, retires.
Mr Stevens, who had been regarded as David Cameron's preferred choice, was an adviser to Alan Milburn when he was health secretary and then Tony Blair as prime minister.
He is currently group executive vice-president at UnitedHealth, a US private healthcare firm.
Mr Stevens will be paid £211,000 per year - but has offered to take a 10% pay cut in the first year due to "NHS spending pressures".
He said: "The next five years are going to be extremely challenging for the NHS, but compassionate, high-quality care for all is as vital as ever.
"It will be a privilege to lead NHS England - at a time when the stakes have never been higher - because I believe in the NHS, and because I believe that a broad new partnership of patients, carers, staff and the public can together chart a successful future for our health service."
NHS England chairman Professor Sir Malcolm Grant said: "I am delighted that Simon will be taking on this exceptionally challenging leadership role for the NHS."
"We have been through a rigorous global search, and engaged with a range of excellent candidates.
"I am confident that Simon Stevens is the right person to lead NHS England through the coming years, bringing new ideas and fresh energy."
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "Simon has an extraordinary reputation in the UK and abroad as a reformer and an innovator, and we are lucky to have someone of his calibre doing such a vital role.
"He will make a key contribution to the two biggest challenges facing the NHS right now - how to raise standards of care and also be financially sustainable.
"His passion for our universal health service free at the point of use goes back many years but he will add international expertise as we face the challenges ahead."