Reports that NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens will assume leadership of NHS Improvement (NHSI) follow the launch of a consultation yesterday proposing legislative changes, including those providing for future arrangements of the two organisations.
Responding to the news, Dr Eleanor Roy, CIPFA policy manager, health and social care, said:
“The proposals for NHS England and NHS Improvement to work more closely or to ‘merge’ contained in the legislative proposals published yesterday, mean that the announcement regarding
Simon Stevens taking over leadership of NHSI and Ian Dalton’s resignation is not entirely surprising – if perhaps swifter than we would have anticipated. Indeed the two organisations have been working more and more closely over the past year.
“While we welcome the streamlining of management arrangements and the associated simplification of governance and accountability, we remain concerned that leadership changes may also involve an element of uncertainty with respect to operating models and reporting arrangements for each aspect of the service.
“This is a particular concern at the moment while organisations are involved in formulating both their annual and long term plans, and while there remain many uncertainties around the way forward – particularly in relation to the integration policy framework. It is imperative that the leadership arrangements are finalised and made clear as soon as possible to avoid any potential confusion or disruption at what is an already pressurised time for those on the ground.
“We welcome the wider consultation on proposed legislative changes to support implementing the NHS long-term plan, and indeed many of the proposals contained within, and we will be responding in due course.”
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