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Trust leader appointed CEO of NHS Improvement


6 October 2015

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Jim Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been appointed as the first chief executive of the new body NHS Improvement.

It was announced in July by Jeremy Hunt, health minister, that NHS Improvement will be in operation in April 2016, as a merger of Monitor and the Trust Development Authority.

Hunt also appointed NHS England’s deputy chair Ed Smith as the new chair of NHS Improvement at that time, however the chief executive had not been appointed.

Jim Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been appointed as the first chief executive of the new body NHS Improvement.

It was announced in July by Jeremy Hunt, health minister, that NHS Improvement will be in operation in April 2016, as a merger of Monitor and the Trust Development Authority.

Hunt also appointed NHS England’s deputy chair Ed Smith as the new chair of NHS Improvement at that time, however the chief executive had not been appointed.

In response to the announcement of Mackey's new role, the health secretary said: "Jim Mackey will bring a wealth of experience to NHS Improvement and ensure that patient safety and higher quality care are embedded at the heart of all NHS organisations.

"He will continue the work to align Monitor and the Trust Development Authority and ensure that all providers are supported to provide excellent care every day of the week," he added.

Both the think-tanks Nuffield Trust and the King's Fund welcomed the Trust leader in his new role. Nuffield Trust chief executive Nigel Edwards said: “Jim Mackey is a very able leader who has made a real difference to NHS services in his local area. I welcome his appointment. But it comes at a time when the NHS is facing unprecedented challenges, and confusion over how it is run and who is in charge.

“Last week we published with NHS Providers a collection of essays from some of the health service's top figures, giving their advice for the first holder of this important post. They called for a move away from the old, top-down way of regulating the NHS, towards inspiring and empowering the local leaders and clinicians who can make the most real difference. Jim must start to do this at the same time as he confronts very serious short term problems, and firmly defines what the purpose of his new organisation is. It will be no easy task, but he will have the firm support of leaders across the NHS.”

Similarly, Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund said: "Jim Mackey is a well-respected and experienced leader and his appointment will be widely welcomed. He will need all his skills to work with the NHS in dealing with the unprecedented and growing challenges it faces, particularly the looming financial crisis, which will require a concerted effort from NHS Improvement and the other national bodies.

"It will also require the additional £8 billion the government has promised for the NHS to be made available sooner rather than later and extra funding to support the development of new models of care."

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