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Former national director to chair two ICBs

Published on: 9 Jan 2024

A long-serving hospital leader and former NHS Improvement director will become the first to chair two neighbouring integrated care boards.

Kathy McLean, who has chaired University Hospitals of Derby and Burton Foundation Trust for four years, will step down in May to become chair of Derby and Derbyshire ICB, they announced today.

She already chairs neighbouring Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB, and is also currently a non-executive director at Barts Health and Barking, Havering and Redbridge trusts.

Dr McLean’s terms at the London hospitals end in March, and she will leave UHDB in May to become the first person to chair two ICBs since they were established in law in July 2022.

She was elected in December to be the new chair of the NHS Confederation’s integrated care system network. 

The joint chair role in the East Midlands is linked to the development of a combined authority across Derby and Derbyshire and Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

She said: “I live in Derby and as a former hospital consultant at UHDB… I am committed to and passionate about the care provided to the Derbyshire community. I look forward to collaborating with colleagues, partners, residents and patients across the system to support and improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

“True integration and joined-up working can bring huge benefits across health and care, I hope there will be additional synergy and opportunity to be gained from chairing two local but separate systems that border one another, especially in the context of a newly forming devolved combined authority.”

With populations of 1.1 million and 1.3 million respectively, the Derbyshire and Notts ICBs are a little smaller than the average of 1.5 million, though they are larger than most in the Midlands.

Dr McLean has worked in the NHS for more than 40 years, including as a consultant specialising in geriatrics and stroke medicine. She was formerly executive medical director and chief operating officer of NHS Improvement.

Before this, she was medical director at the NHS Trust Development Authority and worked with Sir Bruce Keogh on establishing the NHS Commissioning Board, which is now NHS England.

Previously, she was medical director at Derby Hospitals FT for more than six years, and she became chair of the trust in 2019.

Richard Wright has been acting in the ICB chair role since its first chair, John MacDonald, stepped down last summer. 

Derby and Derbyshire ICB CEO Chris Clayton said: “I very much look forward to working with Kathy in her new role and welcome the vast experience she will bring.

“On behalf of the ICB board, I should also like to thank Richard Wright for his stewardship and significant contribution to its work over the last year.”