Appointment of a new Deputy Chief Medical Officer

A new deputy chief medical officer for England has been appointed, the government has confirmed.

Dr Thomas Waite will cover emergency response and preparedness, infectious diseases and vaccines – including issues related to Covid-19.

He replaces Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, who won public affection for his use of analogies to explain the coronavirus, after his resignation in March.

Dr Waite said: ‘I am delighted to be appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Health Protection.

“I look forward to the opportunity to work with teams across the country to develop our preparedness for health risks and emergencies and to protect the health of the public.”

He then added on Twitter: “I am delighted to be appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, replacing my friend and colleague Professor Van-Tam. It was a privilege to work with him.

“I look forward to working with colleagues from public health, the NHS and many more.”

During his career, Dr Waite helped create and lead the Joint Biosafety Center, which provided analytics to inform local and national decision-making in response to Covid, and has served as acting Deputy Chief Medical Officer since May 2021.

Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam was Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England (Yui Mok/PA)

Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty said: ‘Dr Waite has an excellent delivery record.

“His extensive experience in epidemiology and emergency preparedness will benefit the government’s ongoing public health responses and help us prepare for future events.

A medical graduate of Cardiff University with postgraduate degrees in public health, medical toxicology and medical education, Dr Waite previously held positions in global health, infectious disease and health protection. environmental health.

Most recently he was Director of the UK Field Epidemiology Training Program and helped to establish the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team, leading its first overseas deployment in Ethiopia.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Congratulations Thomas Waite on being appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England. I look forward to working closely with you to ensure we continue to learn to live with Covid.

Sir Jonathan was a deputy while on secondment to the University of Nottingham Health Department since 2017.

He stepped down to assume the role of pro-vice chancellor of the university’s medical and health sciences faculty.

Sir Jonathan’s contribution to the fight against Covid has been recognized in the New Year’s Honors List with a Knighthood.