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NHS England appoints medical director for secondary care and transformation

Published on: 4 Feb 2022

Vin Diwakar has been made medical director for secondary care in the new national transformation directorate, HSJ has learned.

Dr Diwakar has been the medical director for NHSE’s London region the past five years and “displayed exceptional leadership” during that time, according to an email to NHS England staff announcing his new post which has been seen by HSJ.

He is moving into the directorate set up by transformation director Tim Ferris, who made a high-profile move to the NHS from a major US health system last year.

The post of medical director for secondary care and transformation was advertised in early December last year and will report directly to Dr Ferris.

Dr Diwakar will “work across the national medical and transformation directorates and our regional teams on a range of important cross-cutting programmes to transform the quality, safety, and experience of patient care in line with our long-term plan ambitions”, according to the staff email.

According to the job advert posted online, the post will require him to “provide clinical leadership with a specific focus on the secondary care sector… including engaging clinicians and leaders at all levels to promote clinical improvement and reduce unwarranted variation”.

He will also “lead on the development and implementation of digitally enabled transformation including end-to-end pathway redesign and improving access to care while addressing digital exclusion and other health inequalities”.

The role means he will also “deputise for the national director for transformation as needed”.

Details of how Dr Ferris’s transformation directorate will operate came in November last year with the publication of a Department of Health and Social Care review that called on NHSE to create a “transformation factory” that would revolutionise “how it supports innovation in the delivery of care”.

The review also called for NHS Digital and NHSX to be absorbed into NHSE, confirming a move first reported by HSJ in February 2021.

HSJ also revealed this week that NHSX chief executive Matthew Gould will keep his title of national director for digital transformation and remain a director general post in DHSC after NHSX is fully absorbed into NHSE and the brand retired.

Dr Diwakar said, in a statement: “I look forward to now being able to work with colleagues across the country on how we can build on some of those key lessons learned during the pandemic and apply them to our long-standing ambitions to provide more preventative and co-ordinated care for patients in every community, and by supporting and empowering our outstanding NHS clinicians.”