New chair of coronavirus ‘test and trace’ programme appointed

  • Baroness Dido Harding appointed to head up test and trace programme
  • Position will oversee implementation of the new NHS app, mass testing and contact tracing programme

Baroness Dido Harding has been appointed to lead the programme of testing and tracing as part of the government’s ongoing response to coronavirus.

Her appointment has been confirmed by the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock, and Baroness Harding will start immediately, with the roll out of the programme to begin from mid-May. This is a cross-government role and Baroness Harding will directly report to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary.

Professor John Newton will be the professional link into public health expertise and will support the science of the programme alongside the deputy chief medical officers. His role is being expanded to allow him to ensure coordination between the testing and test and trace programmes, supporting Baroness Harding.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“I am delighted that Baroness Harding is taking on this vital role as part of our fight against coronavirus. Her significant experience in healthcare and fantastic leadership will be an added strength to our test and trace programme, and her work will be pivotal in our efforts to turn the tide on this virus and keep people safe.”