Monitor and NHS Trust Development Authority leadership to merge

Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) will be working a lot closer together as the organisations move towards a single leader, who is expected to appointed by the end of the summer. 

In advance of a new joint chief executive being appointed, the current CEOs of Monitor and TDA, David Bennett and Bob Alexander, will oversee early steps to begin bringing the two organisations together with immediate effect. 

Bennett will remain in place to steer the transition but has said he will step down in due course, the Department of Health (DH) has announced. 

Bob Alexander said: “Throughout this next period, the support and development that we provide and that NHS trusts have told us is so valuable will not change.  Our focus remains on the most important issue of all – maintaining and improving patient care. 

“We will support this transition fully over the next period.  We look forward to working more closely with colleagues across the health system to share what we have found to have worked well with NHS Trusts.” 

The DH stated that the “principle of closer working” between the two regulators has been a subject of growing consensus across the health sector. 

The change will mean that all NHS providers, whether they are foundation trusts or trusts, are under the oversight of one chief executive, overseeing teams working closely together. It is also expected that the move will support hospitals to “balance their books” and “clamp down on spending on expensive staffing agencies”. 

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the people at Monitor and TDA to combine their respective skills to create a world class capability to support NHS providers. I am grateful to David and Bob for their contribution over recent years in the creation of this capability.” 

NHS Confederation chief executive Rob Webster said that a recent member survey showed that NHS leaders need the national bodies to work more closely together – with 96% suggesting this was essential in the future. 

“Merging the leadership of the TDA and Monitor will assist this process. We now need to ensure that this is done quickly and safely so that the functions they fulfil continue without distraction,” he added.

Both Alexander and Bennett were on a panel along with the other leaders of the national bodies at the NHS Confederation annual conference last week, and were asked why Monitor and NHS TDA did not just merge. Their answers are below:

(Image of David Bennett speaking recently on a Question Time panel - with all the CEOs from the six national bodies - at NHS Confederation. c. NHS Confederation) 

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