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11.01.17

Niall Dickson named new NHS Confederation chief executive

NHS Confederation has announced the appointment of the former head of the General Medical Council (GMC) as its new chief executive.

Niall Dickson led the GMC for seven years before stepping down last year, and was previously chief executive of health think tank The King’s Fund. He will take over at NHS Confederation on 1 February, replacing interim chief executive Stephen Dalton.

Dickson said: “It’s a great privilege to join the Confederation as it works with its members and partners to deliver better, safer care and the fundamental reforms that are needed to make the system sustainable.”  

“These are monumental challenges and there has never been a more important time for its various parts to come together locally and nationally.”

Dickson will now face the challenge of leading and representing different NHS organisations as the health service is reportedly facing the greatest crisis in its 70-year history.

This morning, the Royal College of Physicians appealed to Theresa May for more NHS investment to help solve the crisis.

Stephen Dorrell, the chair of the NHS Confederation and former health secretary, said: “Niall will help ensure the NHS Confederation remains the first port-of-call when the health service needs a voice, binding in the highest levels of experience and influence across the full spectrum of health and care services.

“He brings with him a diverse range of skills and experience including superb leadership, a strong record of innovation and delivery, and a raft of invaluable contacts and carefully nurtured relationships in key areas.”

Dickson entered the health sector as editor of the Nursing Times before becoming a health correspondent and social affairs editor for the BBC.

At the GMC, he introduced reforms including an expansion of the council’s responsibilities for medical education and training and the introduction of revalidation in 2012 and language checks for doctors from Europe in 2014.

He also oversaw the establishment of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service to provide a clear separation between the GMC’s investigation of complaints and the adjudication of hearings.

Dalton said he was “delighted to be handing over the reins” to Dickson. He thanked frontline colleagues for their support during his time in charge.

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