Professor Dame Sally Davies has been appointed as interim chief medical officer for England, HSJ understands.

Dame Sally’s appointment follows the resignation in December last year of Sir Liam Donaldson, who steps down from the role at the end of May.

Dame Sally is the director general of research and development and chief scientific adviser for the Department of Health and NHS.

HSJ understands she will remain in the role until a permanent CMO is appointed through open competition in the summer.

A spokesperson for the DH said they could not comment on the report, and could not confirm or deny Dame Sally’s appointment.

Sir Liam, who held the post of chief medical officer for 12 years, will take up the role of chair of the National Patient Safety Agency in the summer.