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NHSE appoints new director of elective and cancer

Published on: 13 Sep 2023

NHS England has appointed a new director of electives, cancer and diagnostics, and a new communications director.

Ed Rose, who previously worked as an adviser to Simon Stevens, during his time as NHSE CEO, has been made director of electives, cancer and diagnostics. He will also retain his current role as director of delivery for the national cancer programme.

The role has been created due to NHSE’s national director of elective recovery Sir Jim Mackey standing in as interim chief operating officer, with Sir David Sloman standing down.

Mr Rose will start his new role in October. Both he and Sir Jim, who remains substantive CEO of Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust, are on fixed-term contracts which run until March 2024.

Prior to taking on his current role, Mr Rose advised Mr Stevens (now Lord Stevens) for three years between 2015 and 2018. He also spent a year as a senior adviser on health in the prime minister’s implementation unit at the Cabinet Office between 2014 and 2015.

Before then, he spent three years as a general manager at Barts Health Trust.

Announcing the appointment in an email to colleagues, seen by HSJ, Sir Jim said Mr Rose would be “deputising for me across the elective, cancer and diagnostics portfolio”.

He said Mr Rose’s new role would have a “specific focus” on reviewing and rationalising all current workstreams to ensure “our headline recovery objectives” are prioritised.

Mr Rose’s role will also involve “working with regional colleagues to right-size the scale and scope of interactions between national teams and regional teams” and “identifying opportunities for closer joint working across national programmes, ensuring our asks of systems and providers are fully aligned,” said Sir Jim.

He added: “I am confident his blend of experience both in national roles and acute operational roles will help ensure our work across elective, cancer and diagnostics is as effective and impactful as possible.”

National programme director for elective recovery Elin Jones and director of system improvement Rhydian Philips will remain in senior roles in the elective recovery team.

It follows several other senior recruits to the elective recovery work, including on its outpatient efficiency review, including the appointment of Sam Higginson, who has been seconded from his role as chief executive of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust, as reported by HSJ in June.

Meanwhile, NHSE has also internally announced its new director of public accountability, communications and engagement.

Sam Haq, who is currently communications director at the Department for Transport, will take up her post in November.

She previously worked as head of news at the Ministry of Justice and spent almost 20 years at ITV News, working on home and foreign news then leading its political team in Westminster.

Ms Haq said: “I’m delighted to be joining NHS England in November. So many of my family have worked in the NHS that I feel it has always been part of my life.”

She replaces James Lyons, who left last month to join social media firm TikTok.