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National Voices announces Jacob Lant as Chief Executive

The National Voices Board of Trustees have appointed Jacob Lant as Chief Executive of National Voices from the beginning of May.

The National Voices Board of Trustees are excited to announce that Jacob Lant, currently Head of Policy, Public Affairs and Research and Insight at Healthwatch England, will be joining the National Voices team as our new Chief Executive in May.  

Jacob is a committed advocate for working with people accessing health and care to help improve the accessibility and quality of the care they receive. He loves to combine deep qualitative insights with quantitative data to challenge traditional thinking on how to tackle policy challenges. Jacob has spent almost 10 years helping to build the Healthwatch network, during which time he has led successful national policy influencing campaigns on a huge variety of topics. He has also worked in local Government and for the British Library.  

The Board of Trustees, and the team would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sarah Sweeney, who stepped into the Interim Chief Executive role following Charlotte Augst’s departure in October last year. Sarah has provided strong, effective leadership in this period of transition. We are grateful for the support she provided for the team and for her work with members, partners and stakeholders; allowing us to maintain our focus on making what matters to people matter in health and care. Sarah will be leaving National Voices at the end of May. 

Helen Buckingham, Chair of National Voices says: 

We are delighted to welcome Jacob to the National Voices team. As we navigate some of the most challenging times any of us have ever experienced, ensuring that the voices of people with lived experience are listened to by decision-makers has never been more important. Jacob’s passion to make a real difference to people who use health and care services shines through everything he does, and we know he will lead National Voices from strength to strength. Sarah Sweeney has been a fantastic Interim Chief Executive and we wish her every success in the future – a leader to watch!

Jacob Lant, who will be joining National Voices as Chief Executive in May says: 

I have had the pleasure of working alongside National Voices for many years, collaborating to put people with lived experience at the heart of some of the biggest decisions in health and care. I have seen first-hand the impact the team are having, reshaping the culture in our NHS to increasingly value the experiences and input of those receiving care. So, it is a genuine privilege to be joining as the new Chief Executive.” 

“I want to extend my thanks to Sarah for having led the organisation so brilliantly through this period of change, and to Charlotte Augst for having built National Voices into the force it is today. I look forward to bringing my own determination and energy to the role and to building a powerful coalition to champion the interests of people accessing health and care.

Sarah Sweeney, who has held the position of Interim Chief Executive says: 

I am delighted that the National Voices Board have appointed Jacob as our next Chief Executive. While we have made a great deal of progress in our mission to create a genuinely inclusive and person-centred health and care system, there is still much further to go. I am confident that Jacob, who is deeply committed to ensuring health and care is shaped by the people who need it the most, has all the qualities and skills to bring National Voices from strength to strength.