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Finance veteran swaps Bermuda for ICS in the red

Published on: 12 Oct 2022

A veteran finance leader is to return to the NHS next month, after a five-year stint working as chief finance officer of Bermuda’s hospital board.

Bill Shields will be re-joining the health service as chief finance officer at Devon Integrated Care Board. Before moving to the north Atlantic archipelago, Mr Shields worked at EY and was CFO and acting chief executive at Imperial College Healthcare Trust.

Mr Shields’ new role will be a return to familiar territory, having worked as interim chief executive of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, and director of finance and performance for the now defunct South West Strategic Health Authority.

Devon was one of a handful of integrated care systems that defied NHSE and refused to submit a break-even plan for the current financial year, instead forecasting an £18m deficit. NHSE has said it expects systems to reduce their deficits to a break-even position but board papers indicate the ICS is still planning a year-end deficit.

The system is also in the lowest rank of NHSE’s oversight framework, the effective successor to the special measures regime.

Devon ICS chair Sarah Wollaston has said the system has taken a “different and unique approach” to its board appointments, including inviting figures from the local voluntary and charitable sectors.