Royal Society for Public Health is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Bola Owolabi as Vice-President of RSPH with a particular focus on inequalities. 

Vice-Presidents of RSPH are ambassadorial roles, amplifying RSPH’s vision and commitment to improving the nation’s public health. They will highlight the work of RSPH and facilitate high level networks related to furthering RSPH’s new strategy and mission. Professor Owolabi joins our existing Vice-Presidents Natasha Kaplinsky OBE and Michael Sheen.

Professor Bola Owolabi commented: “I am honoured to be asked to take up the role of Vice-President at RSPH, I believe that inequalities are one of the greatest challenges we face in creating and supporting a fair and just society. Both I and RSPH share a deep commitment to tackling inequalities and improving lives. RSPH are uniquely placed to shape this agenda.  I look forward to working with William and the staff at RSPH to deliver lasting impact and improvements in Health.”

Dr Jonny Pearson-Stuttard, RSPH Chair of Council, commented: “Professor Owolabi has been a leading voice in driving tractable change in how we address health inequalities across the NHS; we are delighted that she has joined RSPH as Vice-President. This is a critical time for the public’s health and we are looking forward to working with Bola to address inequalities in health, and the drivers of health, an issue that is at the heart of RSPH’s new strategy. “

Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, President of RSPH, commented: “I am so proud to welcome Bola to RSPH. Having worked with her and seen the impact she has made in championing for the seldom heard and tackling inequalities, I have no doubt that she will be an outstanding Vice-President. I look forward to working with her over the next 5 years.” 

Professor Bola Owolabi MRCGP MFPH(Hon) is Director of the National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme at NHS England. She works as a General Practitioner (Family Physician) in the Midlands region of England.

Bola has a particular focus on reducing healthcare inequalities through Integrated Care Models, Service Transformation and using data & insights for Quality Improvement. She spearheaded NHS England’s Core20PLUS5 approach to narrowing healthcare inequalities.

Internationally, Bola was a member of the Denmark Ambassador’s Tour De Health – A ten nation healthcare policy leaders’ summit. She was the U.K representative on the Commonwealth Fund/Academy Health Tour 2023 exploring healthcare equity in national health policy across the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Bola was until recently, National Specialty Advisor for Older People and Integrated Person Centred-Care at NHS England where she led the Anticipatory Care Workstream of the National Ageing Well Programme. She has worked with teams across NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care as part of the Covid 19 Pandemic response.

Bola is an alumnus of Ashridge Executive Education/Hult International Business School and holds a Masters degree with distinction in Leadership (Quality Improvement). She holds an NHS Leadership Academy Award in Executive Healthcare Leadership for Clinicians. Bola is also an Honorary Professor at the Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Birmingham UK.