New Chair for NHS Commissioning Board

In News, NHS on October 17, 2011 at 9:42 am

Former Southampton law lecturer, Malcolm Grant, has been announced as  the preferred candidate to Chair the NHS Commissioning Board and will appear before the Health Select Committee this morning prior to his appointment being confirmed.

The Commissioning Board will be at the centre of the NHS, and Malcolm’s appointment is a crucial one. The Commissioning Board will establish the strategy for the NHS under the reforms to be introduced by the Health and Social Care Bill currently before Parliament and oversee its operation. We already know that Sir David Nicholson will be the first chief executive of the Board, ultimately to be known by the modest name of NHS England. That provides continuity with the current system. The Chair needs to respect the learning of the past, but also be bold in shaping a better future.

It is easy to see why Malcolm was an attractive candidate. He has an impressive record of delivery in public facing organisations with a global reputation, having built University College London (of which he is currently Provost) into a strong global brand. He is used to working in a knowledge based economy with some of the leading practitioners in the world, something the NHS aspires to (and sometimes, but sadly not always, achieves). He is familiar with the political dynamics of policy making in the public sector, having chaired the Local Government  Commission for England for five years. He is no stranger to public concern, having chaired the Independent Steering Board for the  Public Debate on Genetically Modified Foods. He can work with business and has a Prime Ministerial appointment as British Business Ambassador to show for it. All in all, well qualified for the role.

We look forward to seeing how he tackles his new NHS position.

Jonathan Montgomery declares interests as both chair of NHS Hampshire and also a former colleague of Malcolm’s when he was at Southampton’s Law School. The views expressed are, of course, his own.

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