Former banker Richard Meddings has been appointed as the new chair of NHS England, and has pledged to donate his salary to charity.
The former TSB Bank boss was chosen for the role following a competitive process, and he intends to donate the annual £63,000 wage to charity, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said.
The role involves working two to three days a week to lead the NHS recovery from the pandemic and expand its workforce.
Mr Meddings, who also previously served on the HM Treasury Board, said: “It is a great honour to have been appointed as chair of NHS England.
“It is clear that there are a number of significant and long running challenges to address, many of which have been made sharper by the consequences of the Covid pandemic.
“But as I commence the role I am humbled by and pay a huge tribute to the people of the NHS for their heroic work and their continuing commitment.”
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Mr Meddings, who is also a non-executive director at Credit Suisse, will replace the current chair Lord David Prior in March 2022.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid thanked the outgoing chair and said Mr Meddings would bring “a wealth of experience” to the four-year role.
“I am delighted to confirm Richard Meddings CBE’s appointment as the new Chair of NHS England, I want to thank Lord Prior for his invaluable contribution over the last few years,” he said.
“Richard brings to the role a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors, including years of management in the financial services industry.
“I look forward to working with him as we support the NHS to recover from Covid-19, tackle the backlog, and back our incredible healthcare staff.”
Mr Javid made the final decision to appoint Mr Meddings following a “fair and open competition” and a hearing with the Health and Social Care Committee on January 18 this year, the DHSC said.
During the scrutiny hearing, Mr Meddings stressed he was a user of the health service and had private health insurance as part of the perks from his previous banking roles.
He said he used private care in 2021 after being diagnosed with a DVT – a blood clot in a vein.
Mr Meddings also described the care the NHS provided to his late mother and younger sister who died after a long illness, adding that he was “passionate in believing in what it stands for and does”.
His twin has just retired as an NHS surgeon and his daughter is a fourth year medical student.
As chairman of TSB, Mr Meddings oversaw what he described as “its most challenging year” in 2018 when it accrued losses of £104.5 million.
The migration of its IT system cost the bank £330.2 million, with higher charges related to customer compensation, additional resources and fraud.
Around 80,000 customers switched their bank account away from TSB the same year.