Chloe Sellwood

Hi, I’m Chloe and I currently work for NHS England as the Deputy Head, Emergency Preparedness, Resilence and Response.

I moved from pandemic flu policy into strategic and operational response planning. I was supported by a number of senior male staff across public health and the NHS who encouraged me to try things outside my comfort zone.

One of my key champions was Professor Jonathan Van Tam who I’ve worked with for years. A great supporter of up and coming staff.

There were barriers getting into this profession.  I wasn’t trained in Emergency Planning, I didn’t have an NHS background, and I was female. But I’ve overcome all those things.

The situation has improved with more women in Emergency Planning now, and more non-clinical staff. So a great range of perspectives and backgrounds, skills and experiences. I would like to see the diversity and representation of our Emergency Planning community continuing to expand and evolve to incorporate more experiences and view points.

My Top Tip is to “say yes to opportunities – you never know where the can take you”.

And something you don’t know about me?  I’m a keen long distance runner, and despite some health challenges back in 2019, achieved a second place, silver trophy in a 6 hour track race this spring 2022.