Lessons from Leading in a Crisis

7th September 2022, 6:00 pm


Dido will discuss frankly the issues and challenges from her experience of heading up NHS Test and Trace during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Do join us for an unmissable event



Baroness Dido Harding
Member of the House of Lords

The word ‘unprecedented’ seems to litter our language nowadays. Hardly a day passes without it peppering conversation.

But certainly what we all faced with Covid becoming rampant and deadly needed swift action to be taken and required someone with known leadership qualities to take control. Therefore, in May 2020, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that Dido was to be put in charge of what became known as NHS Test and Trace. The rest is history.

I had the pleasure recently of speaking to Dido through an introduction via Bob Judson and I immediately asked her if she would kindly address TLC. After all, as I say constantly, it’s learning from ‘Life’s Banana Skins’. So, having read her Wikipedia entry I asked her what she would talk about and she wrote as follows:

Topic…A bit of personal story about what has made me the leader I am…  The man (my grandfather the Field Marshall); the horse (Cool Dawn, Cheltenham Gold Cup Winner 1998) and the dog (my 5 year old lurcher Otto).  And then some reflections on lessons learned from both building NHS Test and Trace, being at the centre of the COVID storm, and from leading TalkTalk through one of the first big cyber attacks.


Dido is Deputy Chair of The Court of the Bank of England and Chair of the Remuneration Committee.

She sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative peer and is a member of the Communications and Digital Select Committee.

She is a member of the UK National Holocaust Memorial Foundation Advisory Board, a Non Executive Director of the Jockey Club and of African social enterprise, MyAgro.

From October 2018 to Oct 2021, Dido was Chair of NHS Improvement, the organisation that oversees the performance of all NHS Acute, Community and Ambulance Trusts in England, responsible for driving operational, clinical and commercial improvement.

From May 2020 to May 2021 she played an integral role in the UK’s fight against COVID, building the country’s testing and tracing capability as Executive Chair of NHS Test and Trace.

From 2010 to May 2017 she was Chief Executive of TalkTalk Telecom Group plc. Prior to TalkTalk, Dido was Sainsbury’s Convenience Director, having been appointed to Sainsbury’s operating board in March 2008. Dido joined Sainsbury’s from Tesco plc where she held a variety of senior roles both in the UK and international businesses.

Join us for what promises to be yet another seriously interesting event. Hear Dido’s personal story on what has made her the leader she is today, and her reflections on the lessons learned from building the NHS Test and Trace, being at the centre of the COVID storm, and leading TalkTalk through one of the first big cyber attacks.