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All ICS CEO jobs put out to advert at up to £270,000

Written by: Dave West, Hayley Kirton
Published on: 1 Sep 2021

NHS England has begun recruitment for chief executives for all integrated care systems, even though many have an existing executive lead in place. 

Salaries are advertised at up to £270,000 for the largest ICS, more than most provider trust chief executives, as HSJ revealed last month. 

Information published this morning by NHSE said: “As the current ICS executive lead roles are different to the new ICS CEO roles we are advertising all 42 roles…  All ICSs will see a robust selection process to appoint a CEO into a full-time role that covers just one ICS.”

NHS England and NHS Improvement will run the recruitment, although the appointment will be made “formally” by an ICS’ integrated care board chair when they are made statutory in April as planned under the Health and Care Bill.

NHSE has set out seven requirements for the roles, including, “you will have great personal integrity and expect this in others. You will actively champion diversity, inclusion, and equality of opportunity for all”.

Most ICSs already have an executive lead in place — a role which is often held by a clinical commissioning group accountable officer or, in a few cases, an existing trust chief in the patch.

If they want to be the ICS chief executive, they will now have to compete for the role. One lead said this was anticipated but still likely to anger those who have delivered in their current post. Some ICS leads have only been recruited in recent months, such as Jane Milligan who took over Devon earlier this year; while others have moved into the positions full time this year, such as Rob Webster in West Yorkshire and Harrogate

The advertised salaries range from “up to £270,000” for ICSs including Greater Manchester, North West London and Sussex; up to £240,000 for ICSs including Kent and Medway, Birmingham and Solihull and Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West; and down to £197,500 for others, including Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, and Frimley. The salary appears to generally reflect the size of the ICS’ population, with some exceptions.

The salaries are on a par with and, at the upper level, higher than most trust chiefs. At the moment, most CCG executive leads earn less, as their pay is often closer to that of CCG AOs. HSJ reported in July on calls for them to be pushed up. 

New ICS leadership map

The process of designating both ICB chairs, and now ICS chief executives, is under way ahead of them becoming statutory organisations next April.

Our ICS map below is colour coded to show which health systems currently have neither an integrated care board chair nor a chief executive designated (red), which systems have designated one of the two roles (amber), and which systems have designated both roles (green).

Clicking on an ICS on the map will reveal the ICS’ name, along with the ICB chair and chief executive designate. Some systems are expected to change their boundaries to match their local authorities, but these planned changes are not reflected on the map. 

As of 1 September, the majority of the systems are marked amber, having announced an ICB chair but not a chief. No system is marked green, as no chief executives have been named yet.

HSJ will update this map as appointments are announced. 


Red - Neither chief nor chair designated

Amber - Either chief or chair designated, but not both

Green - Both chief and chair designated



NHSE announcement; Information collated by HSJ

Source Date