NHS Blood and Transplant announces new Chief Executive

8 February 2023

After an open and competitive recruitment process, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has today announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive.

Dr Jo Farrar CB OBE, currently the Second Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice, has been appointed as the new NHSBT Chief Executive and will take up the role on 1 June.

Dr Farrar has been the Second Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice since March 2021 previously having been the Chief Executive of HM Prison & Probation Service.

Chair of NHSBT, Peter Wyman, said: “Jo is an immensely experienced senior leader and I am delighted she is joining NHSBT. She brings a wealth of experience leading large, diverse teams and will be a great leader for our organisation.

“Our people are our most important asset – without them we wouldn’t be able to provide lifesaving and improving services to patients or care for the donors who give so selflessly. For this reason, we included people from across NHSBT in the intensive selection process.

“Jo is a leader who will help us achieve our ambition of saving and improving even more lives and creating a world where every patient gets the donation they need.”

Dr Jo Farrar, said: “What NHSBT does is amazing and I am incredibly excited to be joining the team.

“My heart lies in public service, having spent my career working as a senior civil servant and in local government.

“Thousands of patients rely on NHSBT to provide the organs, tissues and blood that will save or improve their lives. Its scientists constantly strive to improve and develop new treatments. And it continually cares for donors as well as attracting new ones to keep vital services going.

“I have watched from outside with huge admiration and can’t wait to be a part of the lifesaving work.”

Dr Farrar joins NHSBT on a long-term secondment.

Wendy Clark has been the interim Chief Executive since August 2022. Wendy will continue in the role until Dr Farrar joins NHSBT. Wendy will then become Deputy Chief Executive with a remit of helping drive transformation across the organisation to deliver the long-term strategy while also maintaining her former Chief Digital and Information Officer responsibilities.

Biography, Dr Jo Farrar CB OBE

Dr Jo Farrar CB OBE, NHSBT Executive Jo is an experienced public servant and chief executive whose early career was spent in the Home Office, undertaking work around public service reform (while also attaining a PhD in public service reform alongside this).

In 2004 Jo moved into leadership roles in local government, working with a number of local authorities in London, Wales and the South West, culminating in becoming the CEO of two councils – firstly Bridgend in Wales and secondly Bath and North East Somerset.

In 2016 Jo moved back to the Civil Service, taking on the role of Director General, Local Government and Public Services, providing oversight of the local government system, race and faith, homelessness; and priority programmes including Troubled Families and the Grenfell Tower response.

In 2019 she was promoted to Chief Executive HM Prison and Probation Service, responsible for delivering prison, probation and youth custody services in England and Wales before becoming the Second Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice in March 2021.