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MPs approve appointment of new NHSE chair

MPs approve appointment of new NHSE chair
By Jess Hacker
20 January 2022

The Health and Social Care Committee has approved the appointment of NHS England’s new chair, despite MPs voicing some reservations.

Richard Meddings, a non-executive director at Credit Suisse and HM Treasury, was approved for the role following a pre-appointment hearing with the Committee on Tuesday (18 January).

The former chair of TSB Bank is set to replace Lord Prior, who announced his intention to step down in October.

But the appointment had a rocky start, as Mr Meddings’ approval was not unanimous among MPs, with some concerns held over his ‘lack of specific experience’ in the health and social care sector.

In a subsequent statement, Jeremy Hunt said Mr Meddings brings a ‘useful independent perspective’.

‘However, his performance at certain points of our pre-appointment hearing was not strong with particular weakness on social care, an area he will need to get up to speed with quickly,’ he added.

‘We approve his appointment as Chair of NHSE but it was not a unanimous view of the Committee.’

The appointment of Mr Meddings is expected to coincide with a period of significant change to the NHS following the enactment of the Health and Care Bill.

The Bill, which is currently under review by the House of Lords, has been described as ‘contentious’ and as having a ‘disruptive impact’ on patient care.

In November, MPs voted against an amendment tabled by Mr Hunt which would have sought greater transparency around workforce numbers in the NHS.

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