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DHSC's highest paid official steps down

Published on: 10 Oct 2022

One of the highest earners in the Department of Health and Social Care has announced his departure after five years.

Steve Oldfield has been the department’s chief commercial officer and director for general life sciences since 2017, but will stand down later this month.

He played a central role in creating new pricing arrangements with the pharmaceutical industry, as well as managing multiple supply chain challenges over the last two years.

NHS England’s commercial medicines director Blake Dark is also set to stand down in November.

In a statement issued yesterday, the DHSC said Mr Oldfield was leaving to “continue his successful career in the wider public and private sectors”.

He previously held senior executive positions in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors, with companies such as Procter and Gamble, Sanofi and Teva.

According to the latest available annual accounts, for 2020-21, Mr Oldfield was the department’s top earner in that year, on a salary of between £235,000 and £240,000.

Shona Dunn, the department’s second permanent secretary, said: “Steve’s contribution during his five years in government has been fantastic and he leaves behind a legacy of strong collaboration between industry and government.”

Mr Oldfield said: “I have loved my time in government and consider myself privileged to have played a part in navigating the country’s healthcare and commercial challenges of recent years.

“I have learnt what dealing with true complexity and uncertainty really means; I have been grateful for the tremendous collaboration from colleagues and industry partners. I have also worked with some of the most talented, dedicated and lovely people I’ve ever met.”

Last year Mr Oldfield set up a set up a new medical technologies directorate within the department.