Surrey Heartlands Chief Executive to take up new role with NHS England | News centre

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Surrey Heartlands Chief Executive to take up new role with NHS England

Surrey Heartlands Chief Executive Professor Claire Fuller to take up new national role with NHS England

Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership Chief Executive, Professor Claire Fuller, is leaving her current role to take up a new position as National Medical Director for Primary Care with NHS England.

Professor Fuller has been at the helm of the Surrey Heartlands health and care system since 2017, first as Senior Responsible Officer and Chief Executive of the former Surrey Heartlands Clinical Commissioning Group, and then as Chief Executive of the newly formed Integrated Care System and NHS Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board (ICB) since 1st July 2022.

Commenting on her new role Claire said:

I feel extremely honoured to have been offered this new position, working as one of NHS England’s Medical Director Steve Powis' deputies. Primary care is where the NHS becomes part of patients’ lives in the most local, familiar and continuous way. 

It is where decisions you make with patients can shape the rest of their lives, and it’s where you have the privilege of following their lives and being part of their communities. 

I hope to bring that essence, which underpinned the Fuller Stocktake, to this role where I will both champion primary care, its teams, professionals and partners, but also provide accountability to them and, most importantly, the patients we serve and the communities we are a part of.

Surrey Heartlands is one of the country’s leading health and care systems, and I am extremely proud of what we have achieved over the past few years and of the continued commitment and hard work of local health and care staff. 

I have every confidence Surrey Heartlands will continue to thrive and build on the positive collaboration that’s been at the heart of our success as a system.


Ian Smith, Chair of NHS Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Board commented:

This is clearly a huge opportunity and will allow Claire to continue the work she began on the Fuller Stocktake, working with systems up and down the country on its implementation, as well as championing the key role primary care holds in transforming how we provide health and care services and working to reduce health inequalities.


Councillor Tim Oliver, Chair of Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Partnership and Leader of Surrey County Council added:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Claire for her enormous contribution to Surrey Heartlands and for the tangible difference her leadership has made to patients and the public, including overseeing our health response during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Professor Fuller will take up her new role from 18th September. In the meantime, Karen McDowell, currently the system’s Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive, will be formally acting up as Chief Executive for the short to medium term while the NHS Surrey Heartlands Board works with NHS England to appoint a successor.


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