Chief Medical Officer for England
Dame Sally became Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England and Chief Medical Advisor to the UK Government in March 2011, having held the post on an interim basis since June 2010. Previously Dame Sally held responsibility for Research and Development, and was the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for the Department of Health.
Dame Sally is independent advisor to the UK Government on medical matters, with particular responsibilities regarding Public Health. She provides professional leadership for Directors of Public Health. Dame Sally was actively involved in NHS R&D from its establishment and founded the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Sally sits on the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board and has led delegations to WHO summits and forums since 2004. She advises many governments on health and policy, holding positions on a number of Boards and Groups, including the Singapore A Star International Advisory Group and University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Board.
In March 2013, as CMO, Dame Sally published her 2011 annual report on infectious diseases. The report focused on and brought to light the increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), calling for national and international action to address the key areas of stewardship, monitoring and surveillance and antibiotic development. Since this publication, Dame Sally continues to advocate globally on AMR. She has spoken on AMR at numerous events including, in 2013, the World Health Assembly side event in May, the G8 Science Ministers’ meeting in June, the Global Health Security Initiative in Rome and she was an invited technical expert at meetings organised by WHO. She was chair of the 2013 AMR forum at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in Qatar and is chair of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on AMR to WHO. She also raised public awareness of the issue through publication of a Penguin book (The Drugs Don’t Work) and a TED talk at The Royal Albert Hall in London.
In 2013, Dame Sally became a Non-Executive Director of Genomics England Ltd (GEL). GEL is a company wholly owned and funded by the Department of Health, and was set up to deliver the 100,000 Genomes project, a flagship project which will sequence 100,000 whole genomes from NHS patients by 2017. Its four main aims are: to create an ethical and transparent programme based on consent; to bring benefit to patients and set up a genomic medicine service for the NHS; to enable new scientific discovery and medical insights; and to kick start the development of a UK genomics industry.
Dame Sally received her DBE in 2009. She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014, and in 2015 elected a member of the National Academy of Medicine, USA.