With the end of 2017 fast approaching, we asked the UK's top civil servants to look back at the year, outline their goals for 2018 – and tell us what they cannot do Christmas without
What are you most proud of achieving in 2017?
My biggest challenge this year has been translating the fantastic high-level political support we got for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) at the UN General Assembly in 2016 into concrete action around the world from all sectors. We have done this in two main ways. Firstly, through the creation of a UN Inter-Agency Coordination Group to report on progress over the next two years. And secondly, through an international "call to action" conference in Berlin in October where leaders from around the world set out what tangible actions they will take to address AMR. We are finally getting the system to address the big threat of AMR – but there is much more to do and we must accelerate action.
What was your most difficult decision in 2017?
Not being able to help my daughter move into her new home was hard – but I hope she understood!
What are your department’s top priorities in the year ahead?
For the department as a whole, continuing to deliver world class care for patients, in addition to managing the challenge of an ageing population and the pressure this is placing on the social care system.
My priorities in global and public health include: continuing our strong relationship with the World Health Organization to ensure reform; pushing for global delivery on AMR with the UK leading the way both at home and abroad; and helping establish genomic medicine in our NHS. Clearly there is an imperative to act on obesity, particularly in children.
For you, no Christmas holiday is complete without...
My family – it is corny and I know everyone will say the same, but it is true!