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Matthew Swindells

Former Deputy Chief Executive and National Director of Operations and Information - NHS England

Matthew is the former Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer for the NHS in England.  Now working as an independent consultant, Matthew has built his career in healthcare: in hospitals, at national level, in government and in the commercial sector.

Matthew joined the NHS from University and progressed through that rarity in the NHS, managing successful IT programmes, to be appointed as the Chief Information Officer at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. He then managed Women and Children’s Services at that same hospital before going on to be Chief Operating Officer at Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire then Chief Executive at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.  At that point his career took a change in tack when he was invited to be Senior Health Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State for Health in Tony Blair’s last administration. In that role he worked closely with Ministers and the Prime Minister to reduce NHS waiting times and improve quality to such an extent that the American think tank the Commonwealth Fund declared the NHS as the best health system in the world. They also passed the smoking ban legislation in Matthew’s time working with Number 10.

When Tony Blair stepped down Matthew moved into the private sector and took his family to America to be Senior Vice President for global strategy and population health for Cerner, the world’s largest dedicated healthcare IT company.

Matthew and his family came back to England when he was asked to take on the role of Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer of NHS England. In this role he led the NHS’s operational management, emergency response, major transformation programmes in cancer, mental health, learning disabilities and primary care and the move away from a market system towards population health management. He was also responsible for the development and launch of the NHS app, which lets people access their GP health record and provides the national vaccine passport.

He is currently running his own consulting business MJS Healthcare Consulting supporting the NHS and companies in responding to the challenges of COVID-19 and the opportunities of digitisation and self-care. Matthew also writes for the Health Service Journal, is a member of the University Council at Hull University and holds Visiting Professorships at Surrey University and at Imperial College Institute of Global Health Innovation.