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Former hospital chief hired to lead ICS

Published on: 1 Apr 2022

A former hospital trust chief is set to be appointed chair of one of the largest integrated care boards.

Raj Jain, formerly CEO of the Northern Care Alliance in Greater Manchester, is the new chair designate for Cheshire and Mersey ICB.

In a message to staff this afternoon, seen by HSJ, the ICS chief executive designate Graham Urwin said the appointment had followed “a robust and competitive, national recruitment process”.

Of the six candidates now appointed to the ICS chair and CEO roles in the North West, Mr Jain is the first from a minority ethnic background.

All six appointees are male, and several sources in the region told HSJ it was “disappointing” none were female.

Mr Urwin’s message to staff added: “The confirmation of Raj in this role is a significant step in the development of integrated care in Cheshire and Merseyside and the establishment of an NHS integrated care board which, subject to legislation, will hold a substantial budget for commissioning high quality patient care and have the authority to establish performance arrangements to ensure this is delivered.”

As well as holding senior trust roles, Mr Jain has chaired several partnership boards, including Greater Manchester’s Diagnostic Board, Salford’s Digital Board, for the local authority, and the Working Group of the NW Black Asian Minority Ethnic Assembly.

Cheshire and Mersey is one of the largest health systems, and has gone through several different leadership teams since 2016, who have each struggled to forge a sense of unity and coherence across the system. David Flory has acted as interim chair in Cheshire and Mersey over the last nine months.