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17.09.15

NHS Improvement to replace Monitor & NHS TDA by April 2016

NHS Improvement, the agency to come out of the recently announced Monitor-NHS TDA merger, will be in operation from April 2016, NHE has learned. 

At NHS TDA’s board meeting yesterday (16 September), CEO Bob Alexander said that a “programme plan has now been completed” which aims to have the new arrangements in operation from April 2016. 

He added that this ambition and some of the details which underpin the plan – developed by NHS TDA, Monitor and NHS England – was communicated with staff recently. 

When Jeremy Hunt announced the merger in July he appointed NHS England’s deputy chair Ed Smith as the new chair of NHS Improvement. However, a chief executive has yet to be appointed. 

In the minutes of NHS TDA’s July meeting it was stated that the “process to recruit the new chief executive was about to commence meanwhile the NHS TDA and Monitor were already making plans for closer working arrangements”. 

As Tim Gardner of The Health Foundation charity recently noted: “All parties have steered clear of describing the move as a merger, but it appears to be so in all but name. 

“Bringing Monitor and TDA together as NHS Improvement under shared leadership and a single organisational brand could offer the best of both worlds, though the scale of the task facing the new chief Executive must not be underestimated. A cursory examination of the different functions and powers of Monitor and TDA means aligning the resources, objectives and approaches of the two organisations together won’t be quite as straightforward as it may initially appear. And shifting from being regulators, overseers and performance managers to being genuinely supportive of providers in challenging times will be even more important, and at least as difficult.”

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