Hugh Taylor (civil servant)

Sir Hugh Henderson Taylor, KCB (born 22 March 1950) is a British former Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health and current Chair of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.

Sir Hugh Taylor

Chair of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
Assumed office
Preceded byPatricia Moberly
Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health
In office
Secretary of StatePatricia Hewitt
Alan Johnson
Andy Burnham
Preceded bySir Nigel Crisp
Personal details
Born (1950-03-22) 22 March 1950 (age 71)
Alma materEmmanuel College, Cambridge

Early life and education

Taylor was born on 22 March 1950.[1] He was educated at Brentwood School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[1]


Taylor began his Civil Service career at the Home Office in 1972 before joining the Department of Health in 1998, where he was Permanent Secretary between 2006 and 2010.[1] He retired from that position on 31 July 2010,[2] to become Chair of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in February 2011.[3][4] He was also enlisted as the interim chair of Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in March 2014 after Lord Keith Bradley resigned,[5] and the law had to be changed to permit him to be a non-executive director of two NHS Trusts at the same time. He is also a trustee of the Nuffield Trust. In 2015 Sir Hugh took up post as independent Chair of the Accelerated Access Review for bringing innovative medical technologies to NHS patients. Taylor was Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health, at the time of the failings which led to thousands of deaths at Mid Staffs NHS Trust. Taylor gave evidence to the Francis Inquiry which reviewed these deaths The Francis Report cited one of the root causes of the failings at Mid Staffs as political and hence civil service pressure for Trusts to achieve the financial performance required to achieve Foundation Trust status, which led some Trusts (probably many more than Mid Staffs) to cut nursing staff and other costs, and generally putting the achievement of arbitrary political financial targets ahead of patient safety and clinical quality. Nonetheless, Taylor as the senior civil servant responsible for the healthcare system in England at that time, was not singled out for personal criticism, and was allowed to become a chair of NHS organisations.


  1. "Hugh Henderson TAYLOR". Debretts. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  2. "Sir Hugh Taylor to leave Department of Health". Department of Health. 22 June 2010. Archived from the original on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  3. "Sir Hugh Taylor resigns from DH". Health Service Journal. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  4. "Department of Health boss Sir Hugh Taylor to chair Guy's and St Thomas'". London SE1. Bankside Press. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  5. "The Christie Hospital in Withington 'in breach of NHS licence'". BBC News. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Nigel Crisp
Permanent Secretary at the
Department of Health

Succeeded by
Una O'Brien