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Dido Harding to step down as NHS Improvement chair

By Jess Hacker
10 August 2021

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Baroness Dido Harding will leave her position as chair of NHS Improvement in October, HCL understands.

Having held the role since October 2017, Baroness Harding is also a Conservative peer and the wife of Conservative MP John Penrose.

During the Covid pandemic, she  ran the Government’s Covid-19 test-and-trace programme, which the Government continued to defend despite receiving criticism. A House of Commons Public Accounts Committee report (March 2021) found ‘no clear evidence’ that the £22bn scheme had led to a reduction in coronavirus infections.

Baroness Harding’s resignation comes shortly after Amanda Pritchard was appointed as the new chief executive of NHS England: a role which Baroness Harding was reported to have applied for.

Her application for the role drew criticism when she told The Sunday Times she would overseas doctors and nurses if she were to take over as NHS head.

Before the NHS, Baroness Harding was chief executive of the TalkTalk Group.

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