Taunton born Chief Executive of the NHS, Amanda Pritchard, has just received an honorary doctorate by the University of Exeter, writes Finley Vowles.

The Russell Group University gave her this for her efforts in improving health and achieving high quality of care for all in England.

Despite more than three quarters of NHS staff being women, Amanda is the first ever female leader of the organisation. She was appointed Chief Executive during August 2021, an intense time for the NHS.

Professor Lisa Roberts, President and Vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter, said: “We are honoured to recognise Amanda for her incredible contribution to healthcare in England. Since taking the helm of the NHS during the pandemic, she's shown incredible commitment to ensuring high quality care for the public.”

She also said: “As the first woman in history to hold the post of NHS chief executive, Amanda is an inspiration. As we celebrate our graduates, we want them to show them that there’s no ceiling for their dreams.”

Amanda’s role sees her leading the work of the NHS nationally, to improve health and ensure high quality and safe care for over 55 million people in England. Being the Chief Executive means she is responsible for 150 billion pounds of annual funding and leads a workforce of around one and a half million people.

Recently, Amanda has produced a significant achievement, the publication of The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan. This plan outlines an opportunity to build NHS excellence and longevity by trainings hundreds of thousands more staff over a 15-year period and promising 300,000 more NHS clinicians by 2036.

Amanda said: “I am honoured to accept this honorary degree from the University of Exeter. It's a privilege to be recognised by an institution that makes such a significant contribution to health and care in the Southwest and nationally, and I’m looking forward to contributing to what I know will be a special and memorable day for all those graduating."

The University of Exeter, as a high-quality higher education provider for medicine, nursing, diagnostic radiography, clinical psychology, healthcare science and other healthcare practice, has welcomed the plan and look to work with partners to assist with the delivery of its goals.