Stephen Welfare

Stephen Welfare

Areas of Interest

Business, Health Care

Honorary Award

Honorary Doctor of Science, 2010


Stephen Welfare is Director of his own consultancy specialising in workforce strategy and leadership in health and social care. Until recently he was the National Transition Director for Health Education England and was previously Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Midlands and East SHA, responsible for a population of 15 million across a quarter of England. He has held a number of other board positions in the NHS including as a Chief Executive.

He has chaired and been a member of numerous National Workforce Groups, including the NHS Leadership Council, as well as having undertaken consultancy work in healthcare nationally and internationally. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Essex as well as the University of Pavia in Italy and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University. He is a Fellow of the CIPD and recently received a President's Lifetime Award from his UK professional healthcare association. He is also a voluntary National Ambassador for the Prince's Trust.


"Stephen Welfare is the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Workforce with NHS East of England. He was previously the Chief Executive of the Essex Workforce Development Confederation and has held Board level positions with four NHS Organisations.

The NHS East of England covers one of the fastest growing regions in the UK, with a population of just below 5.6 million. The East of England NHS budget is £8.2 billion and there are over 125,000 staff employed in the region. As the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Workforce Stephen is responsible for overseeing the workforce and organisational development programmes associated with the new Coalition Government White Paper in the East of England. It also falls to Stephen to oversee the commissioning and delivery of the training and development needs of the healthcare workforce to meet this growth; as well as visioning the future demands that will be placed upon the healthcare workforce of the future.

Stephen drives the policies that support the delivery of high quality healthcare providing value for money through a dedicated, well trained and committed workforce that has the skills and confidence to deliver high quality patient care. With the NHS being the largest employer in the region it makes this very much a pivotal role.

Stephen has demonstrated his expertise in terms of leadership and development in everything he does. Among his recent triumphs, he has initiated flagship leadership schemes for over 3,000 staff to take the healthcare workforce into a new era and pushed forward a successful drive for more midwives and GPs. As part of the NHS's contribution to the regional economic position he has overseen the best performance in the country in recruiting newly qualified healthcare professionals and training of pre-professional staff. He has also initiated over 800 new Apprenticeships places and helped to set up a collaborative project with the Prince's Trust to encourage disadvantaged young people to consider and try out careers in health, the first such scheme nationally.

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and has a BA in Politics from the University of Warwick.

Stephen has also chaired several national workforce groups and is a member of a number of advisory bodies including the Skills for Health National Council. Recent national contributions include working on the development of the NHS Constitution, the health and wellbeing of staff, leadership and talent management. He has also undertaken consultancy work in healthcare nationally and internationally as well as leading on the HR implications of the new Coalition Governments White Paper on Health and Social Care.

It is because of Stephen's stunning work in reshaping the infrastructure which provides the NHS workforce in the region, which has influenced national policy in a number of key directions, that we recognise him today. Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Stephen for the award of Doctor of Science honoris causa."