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Government names Prior to chair NHS England

Will Lord Prior be the right chair for NHS England?


The government has named Lord David Prior as its preferred candidate to chair NHS England as a replacement for the outgoing Sir Michael Grant, who has served two terms as chairman.


Lord Prior has courted controversy in the past with his views on the future of the NHS, stating that even God ‘would struggle’ to manage it and that a tax funded NHS ‘has to be questioned’ if economic growth lags behind demand for a long time.


Lord Prior is currently chairman at University College London Hospital NHS Trust and has previously held roles as chairman of the:

  • Care Quality Commission (CQC)
  • Norfolk and Norwich University NHS Foundation Trust


Lord Prior was parliamentary under-secretary of state for health in the Conservative government between 2015 and 2017 and has taken the Conservative whip in the House of Lords since taking his seat in 2015.


His appointment will be scrutinised by the Health Select Committee.


The Labour Party has criticised the possible appointment, saying it is part of a pattern of Tory grandees landing important NHS roles.


Further information

Guardian: Labour criticises Tories over key NHS roles going to party peers Preferred candidate for new NHS England chairman announced

Health Service Journal: New chair of NHS England revealed