Dr Paul Litchfield, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Wellbeing, Inclusion, Safety & Health for BT Group, has been appointed as Chair of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.
Paul Litchfield takes over from Lord Gus O’Donnell, who has been acting as interim Chair since the Centre’s launch in October.
Lord O’Donnell said:
I am delighted that Paul Litchfield is taking over from me as Chair of the What Works Centre on Wellbeing. Paul has shown at BT that it is possible for an employer to raise the wellbeing of their staff, which is hugely important of itself, but also leads to higher productivity. Given the long term challenges facing the UK, such as low productivity, ageing, and growing, unmet mental health challenges, the Centre could not ask for a better qualified Chairman than Paul. We worked together on the Wellbeing and Mental Health Committee of the World Economic Forum, where I realised what a fantastic global reputation Paul has in these areas. I am looking forward to supporting him as the Centre’s patron, helping to put wellbeing where it belongs at the top of the UK’s policy agenda.
Paul Litchfield said:
I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed as Chair of the new What Works for Wellbeing Centre. There is a growing realisation that human progress cannot be measured solely on the basis of financial measures and that people’s wellbeing is a fundamental indicator of societal success. There are many opinions on what drives wellbeing but less hard evidence for what works. The Centre gives us the opportunity to address this deficiency and to provide decision makers with the tools to formulate more effective policy. The UK is leading the way in this area and I am proud to be able to contribute in some small way.
Prof. Jane Elliott, Chief Executive of the ESRC, said:
I welcome the appointment of Dr Paul Litchfield as Chair of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. The Centre is a key part of our strategy to ensure that high quality social science research contributes to the evidence base used by policy makers and practitioners.
Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England, where the centre is currently being hosted, added:
I am delighted that the What Works Centre for Wellbeing is continuing to develop at pace and I would like to congratulate Dr Paul Litchfield on his appointment as chair.
PHE is excited to be one of the major players in the collaboration supporting the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, the first of its kind in the world, as it will help us to better understand and deliver improved wellbeing for local people, employees and communities.
Paul Litchfield remains in his role at BT, seconded to the Centre for three days per week. The Centre’s initial evidence programmes start in June 2015.