[Skip to content]

Search our Site
National Patient Safety Agency

Sir Liam Donaldson becomes new Chairman of National Patient Safety Agency

04 March 2010



Professor Sir Liam Donaldson has been appointed as the new Chairman of the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA). 


The announcement follows an independent recruitment exercise conducted by the Appointments Commission.


Sir Liam is currently Chief Medical Officer for England, a post he has held for 12 years, in which he advises the Secretary of State for Health, the Prime Minister and other government ministers on all health-related issues.


Commenting on his appointment to the NPSA, Sir Liam said: “Improving the safety of care is a priority for health services worldwide.  The NHS was one of the first to establish a programme of patient safety.  I look forward to helping to make further progress. Quality and safety of healthcare has been a passion of mine for over 25 years.”


The current NPSA Chairman, Lord Naren Patel, who announced his intention to step down from the position last year, said he is delighted with the appointment. 


He said: “I am thrilled Sir Liam has been appointed as the new Chairman of the NPSA.  He is a highly credible and influential individual with a track record that speaks for itself.  He passionately believes in the importance of patient safety. 


“Sir Liam has been a tireless promoter of safer patient care and the effect this has had in reducing harm and death amongst patients is significant.” 


Sir Liam’s report in 2000, An Organisation with a Memory, highlighted the importance of patient safety, which led to the establishment of the NPSA and the World Health Organization World Alliance for Patient Safety. 


Sir Liam is due to start his post in early July 2010 and his remuneration will be £36,780 per annum. Sir Liam has been appointed for four years.


The appointment has been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.


All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity to be made public.  Sir Liam has declared no political activity.





Note to editors



Brief profile on Sir Liam Donaldson

Sir Liam started his career in Birmingham where he trained as a surgeon. Since then, he has worked across all areas of healthcare, including hospital medicine, general practice, public health, academic medicine and health service management. 


For the last six years, Sir Liam has chaired the World Health Organization’s patient safety initiative.



Media enquiries to the NPSA Press Office:

Simon Morgan – 020 7927 9580 / simon.morgan@npsa.nhs.uk

Dominic Stevenson – 020 7927 9351 / dominic.stevenson@npsa.nhs.uk

Out of hours – 0788 411 5956



The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) is an Arm’s Length Body of the Department of Health. It encompasses three divisions; the National Research Ethics Service, the National Reporting and Learning Service and the National Clinical Assessment Service.  The NPSA’s vision is to lead and contribute to improved, safe patient care by informing, supporting and influencing healthcare individuals and organisations. For more information visit: www.npsa.nhs.uk