NHS Improvement deputy chief leaving to run STP

Meanwhile, the regulator’s outgoing chief executive Jim Mackey could remain in post until Christmas if his replacement is not able to start work immediately.


In a message to NHSI staff today, interim chair Richard Douglas said Mr Alexander will lead the Sussex and East Surrey STP.

His new role begins later this month, initially for three days a week. Mr Alexander will formally remain in post at NHSI until January “to support a smooth transition”, Mr Douglas said.

For the rest of the year, Mr Alexander will continue to lead on internal budgeting, IT and corporate services, and “will continue to play a significant part in our escalation of financially troubled providers”, he added.

Mr Alexander’s remaining responsibilities will be split between other NHSI directors including: Elizabeth O’Mahony (finance, and information and analytics); Ben Dyson (pricing, and business risk and planning), Adam Sewell-Jones (organisational development); HR (Kate Moore); and Jeremy Marlow (cyber response and digitisation).

“Jim and I would like to thank Bob for his significant contribution, both here at NHS Improvement and in his previous roles at NHS Trust Development Authority,” Mr Douglas said. “His knowledge, experience and leadership will be very much missed.”

Interviews for Mr Mackey’s replacement will begin as soon as possible after the Department of Health has confirmed NHSI’s new chair – Baroness Dido Harding was announced as the DH’s prefered candidate for the role earlier this week.

The new chief executive is expected to be announced in early November.

Although Mr Mackey will return to Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust from 1 November, he will retain his formal responsibilities as NHSI chief until his successor begins.

He will devote two days a week to NHSI until 22 December.

Medical director Kathy McLean will take on a new role as interim chief operating officer to “support Jim on the vitally important external programme of work to support accident and emergency performance as we head into winter”, Mr Douglas said. Ms McLean will continue as medical director during this time.

Mr Douglas also said: “I know that it has been an unsettling few months – the process to recruit a permanent chair has been subject to external factors which we cannot influence, and at the same time as Jim’s term as chief executive has been coming to an end. I hope that the steps being taken over the coming weeks to put in place our new leadership will start to address this and allow us to build on the great work already done by NHSI for the patients we are ultimately here for.”

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