Richard Sullivan is pleased to announce that Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard DBE has been appointed to the position of Chief Medical Officer for Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora.

Dame Helen is a vastly experienced medical professional with decades of experience at all levels of the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom. She is currently a Non-Executive Director at NHS England, a Professor of Medical Education in the University of Birmingham and a frontline NHS GP.

She has recently finished her fixed term as Chair of the UK Academy of Medical Colleges (2020-23), which is the overarching body for all UK and Ireland Medical Colleges.  During her time as Chair, throughout the Covid19 pandemic, she remained a frontline NHS General Practitioner and was awarded a DBE for services to General Practice in 2022.

Dame Helen was born in Wales and qualified in medicine from St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, where she was president of the student union. Prior to training as a GP, she worked in obstetrics and gynaecology. 

In 2012 she became the Royal College of General Practitioners first female Honorary Treasurer and was elected to be their Chair in November 2016.

Dame Helen sits on several national advisory groups and boards in the UK, including the expert advisory group overseeing the National Frontier AI Security Institute. She is also a trustee at Macmillan Cancer and founding Chair of the National Academy for Social Prescribing, where she is actively involved in shaping the direction of social prescribing — establishing an academic foundation for the movement and forming alliances to increase its impact globally.

Dame Helen is genuinely excited about moving to New Zealand to take up the role and says that Te Pae Tata, our drive to achieve Pae Ora, and our four Pou of Te Mauri o Rongo struck a chord when deciding to apply for the role. These align closely with her own passion for health and care that places the whole person at the heart of a system that seeks to prevent illness and promote wellbeing, as well as to heal.

I welcome Dame Helen to our team and look forward to her taking up the position in October. 

I would also like to sincerely thank Dr Nick Baker who has served as our Interim Chief Medical Officer. Nick has been a fantastic colleague and has agreed to continue in the role until Dame Helen’s arrival, for which I’m truly grateful. Nick has provided pivotal and strong leadership throughout this period of change.

Further appointments to the National Clinical Leadership Team will be announced soon.

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