Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam will step down as Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England at the end of March 2022 to take up a new role at the University of Nottingham.
Professor Van-Tam who joined DHSC on secondment from the University of Nottingham in 2017 will return to be the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
As the DCMO for Health Protection, Professor Van-Tam has played important roles in a number of different incidents, including domestic outbreaks of MERS and Monkeypox, 2017/18 influenza season and most notably the response to the Novichok attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic where he worked on the Vaccine Taskforce and supported the development of treatments.
Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam said:
My time as DCMO have been the most challenging of my professional career, especially the COVID response. We all wish COVID had never happened. Notwithstanding, it has been the greatest privilege of my professional career to have served the people of the UK during this time.
I want to pay tribute to Professor Chris Whitty, the CMO team, my fellow scientists, public health professionals and clinicians whose support, wisdom and energy has been inspiring. There are countless numbers who work behind the scenes – all of whom have an unrelenting commitment to help and support the British public. It has been an honour to work with them all.
I will continue to work until the end of March and look forward to the next challenge.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
It has been an honour to work side-by-side with Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam and I am hugely grateful for his advice and guidance since I became Health and Social Care Secretary.
JVT’s one-of-a-kind approach to communicating science over the past two years has no doubt played a vital role in protecting and reassuring the nation, and made him a national treasure.
I pay tribute to his relentless work ethic, sense of public duty and leading role in our incredible vaccination programme – on behalf of DHSC I wish him the best of luck on his return to the University of Nottingham.
Professor Chris Whitty said:
Professor Van-Tam has been an outstanding DCMO and public servant. I am profoundly thankful for his steadfast support, advice, leadership and commitment. His communication of public health advice and science has been remarkable.