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Thursday 20th October 2016

Sian Jarvis - Director General of Communications at Department of Health - announces her departure

29th June 2011

After 12 years’ service at the Department of Health, the Director General of Communications, Sian Jarvis, has announced she will be leaving at the end of September.

The former GMTV political reporter joined the Department of Health in 1999 as the Head of News before being promoted to Director of Communications in 2001 and Director General of Communications in 2004.

Sian was made a CB in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to the Department of Health and was awarded PR Week’s PR Professional of the Year in 2009.

Sian will remain at the Department through the summer to ensure a smooth transition and to advise on the creation of a new partnership model and communications structure for the changing health system.  Sian will make a further announcement in the autumn about her future plans.  

Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley said:

“I would like to pay tribute to Sian’s professionalism and dedication over the past 12 years and most recently for her role in the NHS listening exercise. Sian has led the way in developing new approaches in public health communications – driving behaviour change through ground-breaking campaigns - and has built a powerful coalition of partners outside Government.
“I would like to single out the outstanding work Sian has done to create and maintain the successful Change4Life brand. Sian was instrumental in its design, making sure it resonated with its target audience and really had an impact on changing people’s behaviour to live more healthily. I wish Sian the very best for the future.”

DH Permanent Secretary Una O’Brien said:

“Sian has made a powerful contribution at the Department of Health, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for doing her job with integrity and passion.  Over the past decade she has led award-winning campaigns including Change4Life and Stroke Act Fast, and will leave the Department in the knowledge that the NHS is a powerful and trusted brand.

“I will be working closely with Sian over the next few months to ensure we build on the approach she has developed with her team.  We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”

On announcing that she will step down Sian Jarvis commented:

“It has been an enormous privilege to have such an exciting and challenging role for over a decade.  As a communications professional and as a mother of two young children, improving health and well-being has been my driving passion.

“In that time the debate has shifted from being narrowly focused on the NHS as a sickness service to building a genuine health system with equal emphasis on improving the public’s health. Solving the intractable health diseases such as diabetes, heart and lung disease and obesity is a priority for all of us in society, not just Government. 

“I look forward to creating a new model for shared partnership working to be undertaken by the new Director of Communications and to progressing the Government’s plan to put patients at the heart of the NHS.”
The Department of Health is changing to work in a more devolved health and care system with an NHS Commissioning Board. The Director-General of Communications will not be replaced.  The Department is now beginning the search for a Director of Communications.

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