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Three more ICSs confirm chief executives

Published on: 1 Dec 2021

Three more integrated care systems have announced their chief executives, leaving only one system which has not revealed whether it has appointed a chief executive. 

Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership has appointed current system leader Stephen Eames as CEO designate, while South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw has appointed chief executive of University Hospitals Derby and Burton Gavin Boyle to the role.

Mr Eames said: “I am extremely honoured to be appointed as ICS chief executive for Humber, Coast and Vale to help to lead our integrated care system into this new era.

“I look forward to building on the work of the partnership over the last five years to help build an even stronger partnership that will deliver better health and care for the future.”

Meanwhile, lead officer to Hertfordshire and West Essex ICS Jane Halpin has been appointed as the system’s CEO designate.

It was announced on Tuesday that Fiona Edwards has been given the role at Frimley ICS. Until last year, she was the chief executive of Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation Trust. She is currently executive lead of Frimley Health ICS and accountable officer of the corresponding clinical commissioning group.

Frimley Health was, earlier this month, the only system rated level 1 under NHSE’s system oversight framework, meaning it is ”consistently high performing”.

Former Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust CEO Kate Shields has also been confirmed as the ICS chief executive designate for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly ICS. Ms Shields had held the role in its shadow form, while leading Kernow CCG, since the summer. 

Her departure from the trust came shortly after HSJ revealed RCHT was taking “remedial action” following “inappropriate” payments made to board members. The trust said those payments had been ”incorrectly” processed and that recipients were “unaware”.   

Earlier in the day, Ed Garratt was confirmed as chief executive designate of Suffolk and North East Essex ICS. He is already executive lead of the ICS, and is accountable officer of the three clinical commissioning groups in the area. It was one of the second “waves” of ICSs to be designated, in 2018, as the concept was being developed. 

The latest appointments leave Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire ICS as the only system yet to announce whether it has appointed a chief executive. 

Six ICSs have confirmed they have failed to appoint a chief executive, including five in the Midlands — Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, Black Country and West Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and Birmingham and Solihull.

Black Country ICB chair designate Jonathan Fellows said: “Over the next few months we expect to restart the recruitment process to ultimately find someone who can work with system partners to create a fully mature, thriving ICB with a strong place-based approach to delivery and transformation. In the meantime we are working on interim arrangements to ensure strong leadership over this transitional period.” 

In Birmingham and Solihull ICS David Melbourne, who has been leading the ICS’s development, will be designate interim chief executive of the ICB. Karen Helliwell will remain as interim accountable officer of the CCG.

The Shropshire ICS said the “recruitment process to identify a permanent chief executive will restart imminently”. It said the incumbent, Mark Brandreth, had “decided not to pursue this opportunity” but that he would remain in the interim.

Greater Manchester is the sixth system that failed to recruit. It is one of the largest ICSs and has been regarded by some as a leader in integration and system working, having been made a “devolved” NHS region five years ago, and becoming one of the first ICSs. Its interim lead, Sarah Price, will continue as interim chief officer until another attempt in the new year. 

The systems will carry out the next round of recruitment over the next couple of months. 

The new CEOs are “chief executive designates” for the NHS Integrated Care Body for their ICS, and will be confirmed in this role if the Health and Care Bill is passed by Parliament, as expected, early next year. Under the bill, ICBs will from April be the part of ICSs’ structure which will make most executive decisions and will control NHS resources, including taking on the functions of CCGs.