A new Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England has been recruited and will support the Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty. Dr Thomas Waite has been placed in the Deputy CMO role, replacing Professor Jonathan Van-Tam who stepped down on 31 March 2022. Among Dr Waite’s responsibilities will be emergency response and preparedness, infectious diseases, vaccines and therapeutics. During the pandemic, Dr Waite helped create the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) – which provides evidence-based, objective analysis to inform local and national decision-making in response to COVID-19 outbreaks.
BIVDA will be sending a welcome letter to Dr Waite to begin engagement with him regarding the important role of diagnostics in future pandemic responses, and learning from the lessons provided by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of public health protection, swift product development and roll-out and infectious disease control.
The CMO acts as the UK government’s principal medical adviser, and the professional head of all directors of public health in local government and the medical profession in Government. The CMO is an independent position at permanent secretary level, supported by 3 DCMOs. The role provides public health and clinical advice to ministers in the Department of Health and Social Care and across Government.
The three current Deputy Chief Medical Officers are: Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, Dr Aidan Fowler and now Dr Thomas Waite.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity of working with teams throughout the country to develop our preparedness for health hazards and emergencies and to protect the health of the public”, commented Dr Waite on his appointment.