DHSC waves goodbye to commercial chief

Department’s first-ever CCO is to leave Whitehall after leading engagement with healthtech sector and overseeing Covid supply activities

Credit: Crown Copyright/Open Government Licence v3.0

Department of Health and Social Care commercial chief Steve Oldfield will step down from his role later this month.

The chief commercial officer, who is also DHSC’s director general of life sciences, has decided to leave the civil service “to continue his successful career in the wider public and private sectors”, the department said.

As well as his role at DHSC, Oldfield led the Office for Life Sciences, a joint Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy-DHSC unit, which champions research, innovation and the use of technology in health and care, and leads government’s engagement with the life-sciences sector.

During his time in government, he created a new pricing arrangement with the pharmaceutical industry and managed multiple healthcare supply challenges, including during the Covid pandemic.

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Oldfield joined DHSC as CCO in October 2017, having previously held senior executive positions in the UK and globally in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors, with companies such as Procter and Gamble; Sanofi; and Teva.

He said: “I have loved my time in government and consider myself privileged to have played a part in navigating the country’s healthcare and commercial challenges of recent years. I have learnt what dealing with true complexity and uncertainty really means; I have been grateful for the tremendous collaboration from colleagues and industry partners. I have also worked with some of the most talented, dedicated and lovely people I’ve ever met. My passion for the life sciences is stronger than ever, and I look forward to continuing to bring my energy to the sector, in the UK and globally.”

Oldfield was DHSC’s first CCO, a role created in 2017 with a focus on getting better value for money from the government’s spending with pharmaceutical firms.

DHSC second permanent secretary, Shona Dunn, said: “Steve’s contribution during his five years in government has been fantastic and he leaves behind a legacy of strong collaboration between industry and government. We are of course very sorry to see him go, but wish him the very best in his future endeavours and his ongoing commitment to the life sciences sector.”


Sam Trendall

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