NHS England has appointed a new chief workforce officer, Dr Navina Evans.
Dr Evans comes to the role from Health Education England (HEE), where she had been chief executive since March 2020. Before that, she worked at East London NHS Foundation Trust for 25 years, beginning her career as a psychiatrist before working her way up to clinical director.
In October last year, the Department of Health and Social Care announced major reforms to how the NHS workforce is managed, and as part of this HEE and NHS England will merge.
This means that recruitment, training and retention of NHS staff will come under the same umbrella, something Dr Evans will oversee.
Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers and deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation offered his congratulations.
“With the NHS carrying over 105,000 vacancies and many staff experiencing exhaustion and burnout, and the recent results from the NHS staff survey, this role will be absolutely critical to the NHS for health leaders, clinicians and patients over the coming months,” he said.
“It is positive to have clarity and certainty about this vital role and to have a colleague with Navina’s track record in Health Education England and the outstanding rated East London Foundation Trust in place.
“Her work to date on workforce planning over the medium and longer term has shown her willingness to engage with NHS leaders meaningfully.”
NHS Employers is part of NHS Confederation and aims to support workforce leaders across Trusts in England and Wales as well as manage relationships with trade unions.
The Department of Health and Social Care recently announced a range of new plans designed to “attract great leaders” into the most challenged areas of the NHS after an independent review by General Sir Gordon Messenger and Dame Linda Pollard identified “institutional inadequacy” in how NHS leaders are trained.
Dr Evans’ appointment as chief workforce officer of NHS England follows the departure of her predecessor Prerana Issar earlier this year.