Press release -

Department of Health: Interim Chief Medical Officer appointed

Professor Dame Sally Davies will take up the role of Chief Medical Officer following the departure of Sir Liam Donaldson at the end of May until a substantive appointment is made, the Department of Health has today announced.

Dame Sally remains Director General of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and NHS.

Sir Liam's last day of service as Chief Medical Officer will be 31 May. Dame Sally began taking up Chief Medical Officer duties from the beginning of May 2010 and is working alongside Sir Liam to ensure a smooth transition.

An open competition to make a substantive appointment to the Chief Medical Officer role will be held this summer.


Dame Sally has been actively involved in NHS research and development from its establishment.  As Director General she developed NHS Research and Development into  the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).  She is a Board member of the Office for Strategic  Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR), and chairs the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC).  The DH and NIHR fund applied, clinical and policy research, NHS research infrastructure, research capacity development and support the NHS in its research activities.  Key national programmes include the internationally recognised Health Technology Assessment Programme and Clinical Trials, Service Delivery and Organisation and Invention for Innovation.  New initiatives include the Biomedical Research Centres and units, experimental medicine and cancer research facilities and the NIHR Centres for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care.

Dame Sally led the UK delegation to the WHO Ministerial Summit in November 2004, spoke on research and development at the World Health Assembly May 2005, is a member of the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR),chaired the Expert Advisory Committee for the development of the WHO research strategy and submitted as a resolution to the World Health Assembly 2009.  She is a member of the International Advisory Committee for A*STAR, Singapore and the Caribbean Health Research Council Board, and advises many others on research strategy and evaluation including the Australian NHMRC.

Her own research interests focus on sickle cell disease.  She was a member of the steering group for the Biotechnology Innovation and Growth Team, chaired by Sir David Cooksey and its “refresh” the Health Care Industry Task Force.

Notes to editors

For further information please contact the Department of Health newsdesk on 020 7210 5221.


NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department


  • Government


  • interim
  • medical