• Chris Whitty appointed next chief medical officer
  • Takes over from Dame Sally Davies
  • Has been DHSC’s chief scientific adviser since 2016

A London consultant and public health professor will be England’s next chief medical officer, the Cabinet secretary announced today.

Chris Whitty, who has been the Department of Health and Social Care’s chief scientific adviser since 2016, will take over from Dame Sally Davies when she steps down in October to become master of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Professor Whitty, who was appointed following an open recruitment competition, is also an acute medicine and infectious diseases consultant at University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust and professor of public and international health at the nearby London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

In a statement, he said: “It is a huge honour to be given the opportunity as chief medical officer for England to be able to support colleagues in public health, the NHS and social care around the country to improve the health of the nation.”

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: “Professor Chris Whitty will make an excellent chief medical officer, bringing his extensive clinical experience and a passion for keeping the nation healthy.

“I can think of no better person to lead the fight against infectious diseases, public health threats, and lead the medical profession to continue keeping us as healthy as possible.”

Sir Chris Wormald, DHSC permanent secretary, added: “I am delighted that Chris Whitty has been appointed as the chief medical officer for England. He is doing an excellent job as chief scientific adviser and will bring to his new role a wealth of relevant experience from his previous roles in public health.”