Sir Mike Richards

Chair - Independent Review of Diagnostic Services and Former National Cancer Director


Professor Sir Mike Richards was a hospital physician for more than 2 years. After a variety of training posts he was a consultant medical oncologist between 1986 and 1995, and Professor of Palliative Medicine at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals between 1995 and 1999.

In 1999 Sir Mike was appointed as the first National Cancer Director at the Department of Health. He led the development and implementation of the NHS Cancer Plan in 2, the Cancer Reform Strategy in 28 and Improving Outcomes: A strategy for cancer in 211.

In July 212 he was appointed as Director for Reducing Premature Mortality on the NHS Commissioning Board (now NHS England). In this role he led the development of a cardiovascular outcomes strategy.

He became CQC’s first Chief Inspector of Hospitals in July 213 and led the development and implementation of a new approach to hospital inspection which assessed services on whether they are safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led. Sir Mike retired from this role at the end of July 217.

Sir Mike was awarded a CBE in 21 and appointed a Knight Bachelor in 21.

Following his retirement from the Care Quality Commission Mike has taken on the following roles:

  • Non-Executive Director, Department of Health and Social Care, England (217-22)
  • Senior Advisor, Health Care Strategy, PwC (217-219)
  • Trustee, Cancer Research UK
  • Senior Counsel, Incisive Health
  • Visiting Research Fellow, The Health Foundation
  • Commissioner, LSE-Lancet Commission on the Future of the NHS

He has recently led reviews of adult screening services (published 219) and of children’s cancer services for NHS England (22). In October 22 he published a report for NHS England on diagnostic services in England entitled “Diagnostics: Recovery and Renewal”. This recommends a major expansion of diagnostic capacity and a new model of service delivery.