Skip to main content

DHSC director joins tech firm

Published on: 18 Apr 2024

Former senior Downing Street official and NHS leader Samantha Jones is to join a digital care firm’s advisory board.

Ms Jones, who was appointed the lead non-executive director at the Department of Health and Social Care last year, will advise Cera on social care, the company announced today.

Three other advisers are joining the company: Lord Wood of Anfield, who worked in Number 10 under Gordon Brown; Hilary Evans, Alzheimer’s Research UK chief executive; and Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, the CEO of advisory firm Global Counsel and communications director to Tony Blair between 2005 and 2007.

Ms Jones was appointed to head up Boris Johnson’s short-lived Office of the Prime Minister in early 2022 in the wake of the Partygate scandal. Before this, she had been the prime minister’s senior adviser on social care and NHS reform.

She previously led NHS England’s new care model programme and was a hospital trust chief executive.

DHSC NEDs do not have a role in the day-to-day running of government departments but are appointed to provide “external advice and expertise”. They are paid £15,000 a year for three days’ work a month.

Cera produces technology that allows providers to monitor people’s conditions remotely and predict health deterioration and falls.

CEO Ben Maruthappu said: “We’re delighted to welcome Lord Wood, Hilary, Benjamin and Samantha to our advisory board and look forward to working with them to transform health and social care through our technology and AI”.

Asked about any potential conflicts of interest, the DHSC said: “The department’s NEDs all follow cross-government processes to register conflicts of interest and recuse themselves from any relevant discussions…

“This position was properly declared prior to appointment and will be published in the annual reports in due course. The department’s NEDs provide a wealth of knowledge and advice from the health and social care sectors, they do not have decision-making powers.

“NEDs are expected to work for 2-3 days a month and therefore it is not unusual for them to hold multiple positions”.

Updated 18th April to include updated quote.