Amanda Pritchard is to become the new head of the NHS in England.
Ms Pritchard has worked as chief operating officer under outgoing boss Sir Simon Stevens, who finishes his tenure at the end of the week.
She will take over in the midst of a third wave of Covid-19 and as the NHS faces an unprecedented backlog of care, with more than five million on the waiting list.
Ms Pritchard has held a number of key roles across the health service, including running the busy London trust Guy’s and St Thomas’ and as chief executive of NHS Improvement.
As chief operating officer of NHS England she was in charge of the operational performance of the health service as well as implementation of service transformation and improvements in patient care.
She joined the NHS through the graduate management training scheme in 1997.
Ms Pritchard also served as a health team leader in the Cabinet Office’s delivery unit.
The role of chief executive in the NHS in England was first created in 1985 and it is the first time that a woman has been given the title.