DHSC seeks deputy chief medic to replace Van-Tam

Department offers up to £149,000 a year for its next DCMO for health protection
Photo: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

The Department for Health and Social Care is offering up to £149,000 for a health protection expert to replace Jonathan Van-Tam as deputy chief medical officer.

The DCMO for health protection will play a “crucial leadership role in public health across the UK, and to help develop evidence-informed policy in the Department of Health and Social Care and across government”, the DHSC said in a job advert.

The successful candidate will lead work on health protection and infectious diseases for chief medical officer Chris Whitty. They will advise ministers on the latest evidence and provide expert advice to support the development of evidence-based policies.

They will also work closely with DHSC’s two permanent secretaries and other senior civil servants, providing expert and clinical advice as needed.

DCMO hopefuls must be able to take on a “significant and very challenging national role and have the resilience to work under pressure for sustained periods of time”, the job ad says.

Announcing his plans to step down earlier this month, Van-Tam described the job as the “most challenging of my professional career, especially the Covid response”.

The physician – affectionately known within the civil service as JVT – was instrumental to the UK’s response to the virus and to the rollout of the Covid vaccine.

His successor must have technical expertise on health protection, including on infectious diseases and other health emergencies, and their public health and clinical countermeasures.

And they must have experience using public health and clinical evidence to “drive decision making, challenge established wisdom and bring together a broad range of stakeholders in pursuit of a common goal”, the job ad says.

Applications for the role, which comes with a salary of between £135,000 and £149,000, close on 20 February.

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