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Exclusive: Jim Easton resigning to join Care UK

Exclusive: Jim Easton is resigning as the NHS Commissioning Board’s director of transformation, HSJ can reveal.

He is set to become managing director of Care UK, HSJ understands. Mr Easton, as well as his NHSCB post, is also Department of Health national director for improvement and efficiency. He is one of the most senior people in the NHS.

There is expected to be a process of negotiation and discussion on the timing before the move is formally agreed, because it is from the DH to the private sector.

There will be controversy around the move, as Care UK is an independent provider to the NHS.

Mr Easton became national director for improvement and efficiency in 2009, and has led the quality, improvement, productivity and prevention (QIPP) programme. The programme aims to help the NHS make the multi-billion pound efficiency savings required because of increasing demand and frozen funding.

An NHS Commissioning Board spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that Jim Easton has been approached about a job opportunity by an organisation in the independent health sector.

“Because this would be an outside appointment, it is subject to approval in line with the business appointment rules for senior Department of Health staff moving to new roles in the independent sector.

“In Jim’s role at the Department of Health, as National Director for Improvement and Efficiency, the rules apply for a two year period after leaving. Therefore, we cannot say any more before an application to take up an outside appointment has been considered under those rules.”

Readers' comments (67)

  • Well Well! NCB clearly isn't all it's cracked up to be if the big names are leaving; Good Luck Jim.

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  • It looks like the privatisation agenda really is full steam ahead...time to buy shares in Care UK?

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  • Time to sell shares in Care UK!

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  • Obviously not a true NHS man, just like Mark Britnell - off to the private sector and selling out.

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  • Sensible fellow, private sector is where the opportunities are for all those with a hope of a future career.

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  • A very talented man but no doubt poached for his substantial NHS experience so that he can further help dismember the NHS.

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  • Just watch the Care UK contracts spring up next year! Why oh why are we letting the coalition get away with this wicked assault on the NHS? Beacause the BBC is in their pockets too and will not report it to the nation. It makes me want to weep.

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  • Get real - private sector market share of healthcare is lower now than when Alan Millburn was SoS

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  • The comment on Mark Britnell (4.41) is very unfair. A Google search would show that Mr. Britnell was Andrew Lansley's first choice for NHS CEO, but No 11 had other ideas. MB had no choice but t look for greener pastures. I was privileged to meet Mr Britnell and I found him most courteous and helpful.

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  • Expect more of this - those that have been instrumental in setting up the foundations of increased private sector provision jumping ship to line their pockets over the next few years.

    Was it thirty pieces Jim, or did you cost more?

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  • OMG

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  • Not sure that this is such a loss.
    The only areas where so called QUIpP has delivered are those overseen by David Flory.
    Ideas aplenty, but short on real products useful in the real world, would sum his time up at the DH.

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  • This is pretty sensational. Did he jump or was he given a helpful shove?

    A big name going to KPMG - understandable. A big name going to Care UK is slumming it.

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  • last remaining semblance of any credibility for those at the top is slipping away fast - this is the supposed big hitter who has exhorted us all for the last couple of years, with furrowed brow and deeply hearfelt devotion to the cause, to genuinely achieve the service transformation the NHS so badly needs rather than just salami slicing - and now he's left the sinking ship and jumped on the private sector gravy train - it really is becoming like a rather painful sitcom where each new twist makes you cringe with utter embarassment, and a bit of shame too at being a part of it all..

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  • Pigs and trough - not a personal comment just how markets work and how people orientated towards money find large pay cheques irresistible. The slide towards shrinking NHS provision, capture of the commissioning process and health insurance to fund the gaps in NHS care is fast now. Unless there is a massive outcry we will mourn this day and other disappointments to come. March for the NHS 20th October 11.30 - assemble outside St Thomas' hospital

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  • I'm feeling a bit shocked and sad that Jim Easton has resigned. Didn't know him well but we have had some 'virtual' contact and always found him inspiring.

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  • I did not think that from his previous senior position in DH that he could go directly to the private sector to work.

    Does it not give an unfair advantage to one particular private sector against others.

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  • In other parts of the public sector 12 months break was required before ex employees could move to a related industry. Conflicts of interest don't seem to be an issue, breaching expenses guidance by Chairpersons not an issue, CEOs employing their offspring no problem. Public sector ethic is disappearing, led from the very top.

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  • Can't blame him.Care UK looks a lot better bet than getting anywhere near delivering QIPP in the NHS. It's not going to happen!

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  • Doubt it was about money, he's better than most when it comes to seeing the writing on the wall. The smart ones always are. Abandon ship!

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