Search begins for leader who will transform health commissioning for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin’s patients

NHS commissioners have begun the search for a new Accountable Officer who will lead the evolution to a single strategic commissioning body for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

The creation of a single body is to support the NHS Long Term Plan ambition to move towards strategic commissioning organisations that facilitate providers to partner with local government and other community organisations on population health and service redesign. In turn providing better outcomes for patients and service users.

Earlier this year members of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Telford & Wrekin CCG voted overwhelmingly to move towards becoming a single strategic commissioning organisation to serve a combined population of nearly 500,000 people.

As a first step in the process they are seeking to appoint an Accountable Officer who will lead that transformation, with the aim of the two CCGs becoming one by April 2020. The role will be advertised through NHS Jobs, the national press and specialist health media with a closing date of Sunday, July 7, 2019.

In a joint statement from Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG and Dr Jo Leahy, Chair of Telford & Wrekin CCG, they said: “The recruitment process is now underway for a new Accountable Officer. We are looking for an outstanding individual who will be able to lead the process of creating a single strategic CCG to serve our combined communities.

“They will need a proven track record of being able to focus on delivering better outcomes for patients, with quality and safety at the heart of everything that the NHS delivers for local people.

“There is enthusiasm across both CCGs to begin this process to create a single, stronger organisation that will be better placed to work with our GP members and our partners across the NHS and local authorities.

“The newly appointed lead will initially be expected to be the Accountable Officer for both CCGs as they prepare to become one single strategic commissioning organisation. They will be tasked with creating a single executive team that will guide the CCGs towards becoming a single organisation.

“This is a real opportunity to start to deliver more integrated care for our communities but there are significant challenges ahead.

“Both CCGs have extremely dedicated workforces and they already collaborate in many areas and have always done so. We now need to ensure that we manage the process of becoming one organisation in an open manner that fully engages with our staff.

“We are confident that the opportunity will attract applicants with a track record of strong leadership and collaborative working.”

The appointment of the joint Accountable Officer will be subject to final approval by NHS England. It is anticipated the successful applicant will take up the post later this year.