Dame Una O'Brien DCB


Dame Una O’Brien DCB was Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health from 2010 to March 2016.

She was previously the Department of Health’s Director General of Policy and Strategy, and prior to that the department’s Director of Provider Reform Policy.

She has 20 years’ experience of health policy and leading and managing change in health services. In the 1980s, she helped establish London Lighthouse, a pioneering third sector provider of services for people with HIV and AIDS.

Between 1998 and 2001, she was Secretary to the Bristol/Kennedy Inquiry, the largest public inquiry to date into the NHS. She has also been Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Health and to the Secretary of State for Transport.

She completed a 3-year secondment as Director of Development and Clinical Governance at University College London NHS Foundation Trust in 2005.

Previous roles in government

  • Permanent Secretary