Professor Sir Stephen Powis

Professor Sir Stephen Powis MBA, PhD, FRCP, SFFMLM, Hon FRCP(G), Hon MFPH

National Medical Director, NHS England


Sir Stephen Powis (Medicine, 1982) is the National Medical Director of NHS England, a position he has held since January 2018. In this role he is the most senior doctor within the National Health Service in England.

Prior to his current role Sir Stephen was Medical Director (and latterly Group Chief Medical Officer) of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. He held the Moorhead Chair of Renal Medicine at University College London from 1997 to 2017. His research interests include the human major histocompatibility system, transplant biology and the genetics of membranous nephropathy. Upon leaving UCL he became an Honorary Professor.

Sir Stephen is executive lead for the NHS national cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, stroke and prevention programmes. He is the senior responsible officer in England for the human health workstream of the UK government’s antimicrobial resistance strategy. At the request of the Prime Minister, he has undertaken a review of the core publicly reported English NHS clinical access standards. He led a review of transplant services, again at the request of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Sir Stephen co-chairs the National Quality Board with the Chief Inspector of Hospitals.

Sir Stephen has played a key role in the NHS response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) and advised senior ministers within HM Government throughout the pandemic. He is the NHS England national director responsible for the deployment of covid antiviral therapeutics. He appeared at over thirty live Downing Street press briefings. Sir Stephen was knighted in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the NHS, particularly during Covid-19.