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Insurance boss named NICE chief executive

Published on: 17 Dec 2021

Samantha Roberts, the managing director of insurance provider Legal and General’s health and care business, is to become the chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

She replaces Gill Leng, who took over from NICE’s first CEO Sir Andrew Dillon in April 2020. She announced her decision to step down in September following the death of her husband, former Public Health England emeritus medical director Sir Paul Cosford.

Dr Roberts joined the capital and retail retirement arm of the insurance giant in September 2020, becoming responsible for its investment strategy across the health and care sector.

In November 2020, she became a non-executive director of “genomic analysis platform” Congenica.

Dr Roberts had previously spent four years at NHS England, first as director of innovation, research and life sciences and then as the chief executive of the Accelerated Access Collaborative which helped pharmaceutical and MedTech businesses get innovative products tested in or funded by the NHS.

Dr Roberts joined consultants McKinsey after working as a surgical trainee in Australia and has then worked in academia, private and the NHS. She was head of operations at University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust specialist hospitals between 2008 and 2012.

The NICE chief executive said: “We are living through a golden age of medical innovation. So it is an enormous privilege to be asked to lead an organisation that has both such a proud history and a such a significant future role to play in bringing the best of this innovation into practice.”