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ICS chief given NHSE director role

Published on: 28 Mar 2023

A successful integrated care system chief executive has been appointed as an NHS England national director on a part-time basis.

Staff were told today that Sussex ICS chief Adam Doyle would “join NHS England as an experienced CEO in the system advising Amanda Pritchard and wider executive group”.

Mr Doyle was Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group chief from 2016 and led all the Sussex CCGs from 2019. In recent years, they have come out of special measures and the system improved on a very large deficit position, merging commissioning structures ahead of the legal move to ICSs.

He will work on a part-time basis with NHSE chief delivery officer Steve Russell “as we progress our plans to reshape our system oversight arrangements and to implement our response to recommendations arising from [Patricia Hewitt’s review of ICS accountability]”. It is an “NHS assignment which is not remunerated”, NHSE said in its announcement.

The Hewitt review is due to be published in the near future. Some have argued it should dramatically empower ICSs and increase their autonomy from NHSE; but others have argued they are not ready, and Ms Hewitt told HSJ in December some systems would still require “an awful lot of control” from the centre.

It comes as NHSE implements a major restructure and merger with NHS Digital and Health Education England, including reducing posts by 30-40 per cent. Some believe this should include a big reduction in the number of national directors, programmes and separate teams who are able to intervene and make asks of local systems and providers. It is unclear so far if this will be delivered.

Mr Doyle said: “I am really pleased to be supporting teams across NHS England to help take forward this important piece of work. Ensuring the NHS works as effectively as possible across every level is vital to the delivery of services and the care our populations receive.

“A lot of work has already taken place around the future operating model, and I look forward to working with colleagues across systems to progress and strengthen this further.”