The most challenging job in the country: Being chief executive of the NHS – with Sir Alan Langlands

Episode 12,   Sep 28, 2021, 05:30 AM

Being chief executive of the NHS is one of the most challenging jobs in the country. 
Since the role started in 1985 there have been nine postholders, with Amanda Pritchard taking over from Sir Simon Stevens this year. Like her predecessors she faces formidable challenges ahead: managing the pandemic’s impact, tackling waiting lists, boosting technology, managing a growing population of older people with multiple conditions and dealing with workforce shortages to name a few.
The role means being a leader and a national figure, working with the NHS itself as well as with government, the media and the wider health sector.

The bandwidth needed to do the job is huge. How is it doable?

Our Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Dixon discusses with Sir Alan Langlands, NHS chief executive number four, from 1994–2000. After leaving the NHS, Alan went onto a number of roles including Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Dundee, chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council, Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds and chair of the Health Foundation (2009–2017).

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