Patient Safety Commissioner

Body: Department of Health and Social Care
Appointing Department: Department of Health and Social Care
Sector: Health and Social Care
Location: London/Various
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £105,000 pa (full-time), £63,000 if for 3 days.
Time Requirements: The post is advertised as up to full-time. However, we will consider applications from individuals wishing to work on a part-time basis provided this is for a minimum of 3 days per week. 


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Henrietta Hughes has been named as the government’s preferred candidate for the role of Patient Safety Commissioner.

Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has today, 20 June 2022, invited the Health and Social Care Committee to hold a pre-appointment scrutiny hearing with Henrietta.

Henrietta is a practising GP with a background in women’s health who was the National Guardian for the NHS until 2021. In addition to her clinical work, she is an appraiser for NHS England and Chair of Childhood First.

She was selected following an open public appointment process to appoint the first Patient Safety Commissioner.

Following the select committee hearing, the committee will set out its views on the candidate’s suitability for the role. The Secretary of State will then consider the committee’s report before making a final decision on the appointment.

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    01/02/2022 at midday

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    20/06/2022 at 14:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Ministers are seeking to appoint the first Patient Safety Commissioner (PSC) for England. The core role of the Commissioner will be to promote the safety of patients in the context of the use of medicines and medical devices and to promote the importance of the views of patients and other members of the public in relation to the safety of medicines and medical devices.

The first Patient Safety Commissioner will play a central part in establishing the role and will:

  • Provide strong leadership, and challenge to the healthcare system through their core functions to: promote the safety of patients, and to promote the importance of the views of patients and other members of the public in relation to the safety of medicines and medical devices.
  • Provide direction in establishing the Commissioner role through preparing and publishing a set of principles, following public consultation, to govern the way in which the Commissioner will carry out their core duties
  • Communicate the role of the Commissioner to patients and members of the public to raise public awareness of the role, and engagement with it.
  • Call the healthcare system to account by actively working in partnership with other organisations when this would deliver the most effective results, including sharing and requesting information from relevant persons. This includes prioritisation of work to avoid duplication in the system.
  • Identify and actively promote examples of good practice; make reports and recommendations to the Secretary of State or any authority within their remit as necessary and consult any person they think appropriate.
  • Horizon scan to identify and monitor any potential problems that may arise and to work with others to try and resolve these early on.
  • Work with the healthcare system where there are areas of concern related to the use of medicines and devices on outcomes required for change and the monitoring of these.
  • Set an example of integrity and ethical leadership, reinforcing the position’s reputation as an open and independent role, which puts the needs and interests of the public, patients and service users first.
  • The Patient Safety Commissioner will not act in relation to individual cases, although they may use the lessons of an individual case to inform their work.

Person Specification

To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment:

  • A career record of achievement, which demonstrates exemplary leadership skills and the effective delivery of short and long-term plans.
  • An understanding of the health sector, a deep interest in the experiences of patients and an ability to represent the voice of patients with independence and impartiality.
  • Excellent communicator, with an ability to engage the wider public, including through the media.
  • Able to build successful alliances with a range of stakeholders.

Additional Information

Please refer to the Candidate Information Pack attachment below for further details.

The PSC is a new role set up through the Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021.    The Commissioner will operate as an independent statutory office holder, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care and appointed by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.  The Patient Safety Commissioner will be accountable to Parliament, including through the Health and Social Care Select Committee.

The establishment of a Patient Safety Commissioner is in response to a recommendation of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review led by Baroness Cumberlege which considered avoidable harm in the health sector.

The review report First Do No Harm is available at the following link

For a discussion about the role please contact:

Name: Ayodamola Abiola – Email:

Tel: 07944 251858


Tel:      Janet Smith – Email:

Tel:      07747 455037

How to Apply

To make an application please email your CV, a Supporting letter and completed Monitoring form to – please quote ref: VAC-1755 in the subject field.

If you are unable to apply by email, please contact Daniel Clemence on 0113 2545335

Applications must be received by midday on Tuesday, 01 February 2022

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