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New DH permanent secretary

The Department of Health has appointed Una O'Brien as permanent secretary, with responsibilities including the management of healthcare reforms

The Department of Health (DH) has announced the appointment of Una O'Brien as new permanent secretary. She takes over from Sir Hugh Taylor who retired from the department in July, 2010.

O'Brien's responsibilities will include the delivery and management of the transition to a new healthcare system as described by the coalition government in the White Paper, Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS.

The DH said O'Brien will also lead matters in public health across the government, as well as providing the legislative, financial and policy framework for the NHS.

"I am delighted that Una O'Brien has been appointed as the new permanent secretary at the Department of Health," said cabinet secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell. "She has considerable Whitehall and health service experience, which will be vital in helping the Department deliver on the reforms for the health and social care system, and leading the Department through the challenges ahead."

O'Brien has worked in the DH for 20 years, serving as director general, policy and strategy, since 2007. She is also a member of both the NHS management and DH boards.

Health secretary, Andrew Lansley, commented on the appointment: "Una O'Brien's knowledge of the NHS, her experience across Whitehall and her leadership in preparing the recent NHS White Paper make her the ideal candidate to take the Department of Health into a new era."

O'Brien said: "I'm very proud to have been asked to lead a department with such a fine record and great people. Health is an issue that touches the lives of every person in this country, and I look forward to playing my part in guiding the Department through the changes and challenges ahead."

O'Brien will take up the post at the end of October.

5th October 2010

From: Healthcare

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