NHS England’s director of primary care Dr Ursula Montgomery stepped down on Friday after just over one year in the role.
Making the announcement in the primary care bulletin at the weekend, she did not give a reason for her resignation but thanked all who had shared their ‘frontline experiences, challenges and ideas’ with her.
Dr Montgomery joined NHS England in October 2020 as a clinical advisor for primary care transformation, before taking up the interim director position in January 2022.
NHS England has not yet announced a replacement for the primary care director role and was contacted but did not comment.
Before joining NHS England Dr Montgomery was a GP in Leicestershire and had roles as an associate medical director at a hospital trust and as clinical chair of a CCG.
In the primary care bulletin from NHS England, she said: ‘I will be leaving my role as Director of Primary Care on 14 April 2023.
‘Thank you to so many of you who have shared with me your frontline experiences, challenges and ideas for transformation to improve care for patients during my 2.5 years at NHS England. Your contributions have been invaluable and appreciated.’
Dr Kiren Collison, a GP in Oxfordshire, remains as NHS England’s interim medical director for primary care after taking over from Dr Nikki Kanani.
Dr Kanani left the role in July 2022 on a secondment to the organisation’s chief delivery office team as director for clinical integration, and she is also the deputy lead for the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
She had been primary care medical director since late 2018 and negotiated the 2019 five-year contract, which introduced primary care networks.
Dr Montgomery’s departure comes ahead of the long-awaited primary care recovery plan, which at the end of March was expected imminently, but is yet to be published.
In February, the NHS England board confirmed that it was working on a recovery plan for primary care which is similar to that already published for elective and urgent care.
This article was first published in our sister publication Pulse