• Wendy Reid will take over as HEE’s interim chief executive from 1 April
  • Professor Reid will lead organisation in the interim but has no plans to take on position longer-term
  • HEE chair Sir David Behan insists it is “essential” organisation has plan in intervening period

Wendy Reid will take over from Ian Cumming as Health Education England’s acting chief executive, it has been announced.

The organisation confirmed today that Professor Reid, who is currently its executive medical director and director of education and quality, will take on the role from 1 April. Professor Cumming announced last year he would be leaving the role after eight years

Professor Reid will lead the organisation in the interim until a permanent replacement is found, but she said she has no plans to take on the role long-term.

She said: “It is going to be a very busy period [for HEE] as we work with our partners to deliver the People Plan, and I am keen to ensure we continue to drive improvements in education and training for the benefit of patients.

“I have made clear that I do not wish to take on the role on a permanent basis, but I am pleased that I will be able to provide continuity while we progress the appointment of Ian’s successor.”

HEE chair Sir David Behan insisted 2020-21 will be “as busy as ever” for the organisation and it is “essential” there is a plan for the period between Professor Cumming’s departure and the appointment of his successor.

Professor Cumming will soon become chair of the West Midlands Ambulance Service University Foundation Trust alongside a professorship of global health workforce and strategy at Keele University.

He has previously said it was a “very hard choice” to leave HEE, but added: “I have been considering a move into academia for some time, and the opportunity to remain in the NHS in a non-executive capacity, alongside a new and exciting role at Keele University, which allows me to pursue my interest in a global healthcare, is the perfect opportunity for my next career step.”