Chris Whitty salary: Chief Medical Officer earns even more than the PM – how much?

Chris Whitty asks adults to ‘please’ get booster jab

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Professor Chris Whitty has become a surprise celebrity of sorts throughout the coronavirus crisis. While the Chief Medical Officer went out of public view for some time between coronavirus waves, he has recently made a return to the public eye as Omicron takes hold throughout the UK.

An unwitting public figure, it’s likely Professor Whitty never thought he would become a famous face.

But in March the coronavirus pandemic changed the course of his job, making him a household name across the UK.

His job is one of the most important in the medical field, and his advice to the public over the last two years has been invaluable in helping keep people safe.

Usually flanked by Boris Johnson and the Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance, Professor Whitty updates and explains to the public the latest developments regarding coronavirus in regular press conferences.

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But his job is much more complex than simply explaining the stats and saying “next slide please”.

His role as CMO makes him the principal medical advisor to the Government and he is the professional head of all public health directors in England.

He is a practising NHS consultant physician and epidemiologist, with an extensive background in the study of infectious diseases – including Ebola.

Professor Whitty also represents the UK on the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation.

How much is Chris Whitty paid?

Professor Whitty is paid between £205,000 and £210,000, according to NHS figures published in 2020.

He is paid more than the Prime Minister, who takes home £157,372 for his role in Government as well as being an MP.

Professor Whitty is also the Gresham Professor of Physics at Gresham College – a role for which he receives an unspecified stipend for.

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What else has Chris Whitty done?

Graduating from Oxford in 1991, Professor Whitty went on to train in infectious diseases and tropical medicine.

He has conducted research and worked as a doctor in Africa and Asia, as well as the UK.

His career as a civil servant began in 2009, when he became chief scientific adviser to the Department for International Development (DFID).

During his time in the DFID he led the UK response to the West African Ebola epidemic.

Professor Whitty held the job until 2015, when he became deputy government chief scientific adviser.

He then held the position of interim head of government science and engineering profession between 2017 and 2018, before becoming CMO in 2019.

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