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NHSE hires director from Test and Trace and MoD

Published on: 16 Dec 2021

NHS England has hired a new chief commercial officer, who has previously held senior roles at Test and Trace and the Ministry of Defence.

Jacqui Rock is currently chief commercial officer of UK Health Security Agency, having stayed on from Test and Trace where she was the commercial chief and a member of the executive team.

She “has been a driving force behind dynamic and rapid innovation and technology development in the supply chain” in the testing system, NHSE said in an announcement today.

Before that, Ms Rock was director of the defence infrastructure organisation at the Ministry of Defence, and previously worked for 30 years in the financial services industry, including at Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Barclays, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She will join in January.

Procurement, supply and distribution have been a major pinch point and focus during the pandemic in a range of areas. The testing system has faced high profile problems growing and maintaining capacity, including current problems meeting demand for lateral flow devices.

NHSE said in an announcement to staff: “The NHS commits over £38bn each year to running its estates and procuring and managing contracts across primary and secondary care. This covers medical and clinical equipment, devices and consumables along with other capital equipment.

“Jacqui will lead the vital work of the commercial directorate, driving the NHS to improve delivery, quality, efficiency and value of our commercial and wider estates management, services and functions, and supporting the spread of innovations across the NHS.”

Emily Lawson was the previous substantive CCO. She left in the spring to join 10 Downing Street, though is now seconded back to the NHS to lead covid vaccination. Blake Dark has been CCO in the interim, and will now return to his role of commercial medicines director.

Ms Rock’s salary has not been announced, but several peers at T&T earned more than £200,000 — substantially more than the Department of Health and Social Care permanent secretary Sir Chris Wormald.