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NHS Improvement appoints two NHS trust CEOs to major workforce and improvement roles

NHS Improvement (NHSI) has announced the appointment of two NHS trust chief executives as the director of improvement in the new NHS Executive Group, and to lead its new workforce implementation plan following the publication of the long-term plan.

Julian Hartley, chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has been named as the lead for NHSI’s new workforce implementation plan after being asked by NHSI chair Baroness Dido Harding to build an implementation plan and deliver the visions set out in the NHS Long-Term Plan.

Baroness Harding said: “'The way we recruit, develop, support, and lead our people across the NHS is one of the most crucial elements of our long-term plan.

“I am keen to ensure that we develop the workforce implementation plan as inclusively and openly as possible and I am thrilled that Julian, with his vast experience of leading and working in the NHS and of complex change management, will be working with me on it.”

Hartley himself said he was delighted to be asked to lead the work, and that he looked forward to playing his part in delivering a “highly positive, engaged, improvement-focused workforce” required for the 21st century model of care set out in the long-term plan.

He will serve the role on a full-time basis until the end of March 2019, working other NHS bodies and professional representatives before returning to his role at the Leeds trust in April.

Matt Hancock added: “This is such an important issue and he brings a wealth of experience to the role. We've got to get this right — it's a pivotal part of the long-term plan and will ensure we have a sustainable workforce that is supported, valued, and respected.”

Hugh McCaughey will take up the new role of national director of improvement on 1 April after 10 years as the chief executive of South Easter Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland.

He will join the NHS Executive Group, the product of the merger between NHSI and NHS England, and will help ensure NHS providers and local systems are equipped to deliver high-quality, sustainable healthcare as well as overseeing the delivery of support to the NHS to help ensure effective and efficient use of resources.

Ian Dalton said that he was delighted with McCaughey’s appointment, and said: “Hugh brings a huge amount of technical expertise in the application of improvement science in healthcare settings, and he also understands the challenges of leading change in complex and ever-changing environments.

“He will act as an effective national champion for improvement across the NHS.”

The appointment follows a number of appointments to the NHS Executive Group last month and, under the new structure, corporate teams will provide specialist support and expertise to seven regional teams.


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