STRUCTURE: The foundation’s chief executive warned his board that all of their commissioners were lacking ‘substantive leadership’ as a result of the Liberating the NHS white paper.

Newly published minutes for 5 Boroughs’ 29 November board meeting show that chief executive Simon Barber told the board that none of the four primary care trusts they worked for had chief executives that were both in post and at work.

The chief executives of both Wigan and Knowsley had taken jobs at the Department of Health, Halton and St Helens’ chief executive was on sick leave, and Warrington had ‘no substantive chief exec’ in post, with Helen Bellairs from NHS Western Cheshire covering Warrington ‘in addition’, he said.

The minutes conclude: “Mr Barber was concerned that we are currently lacking substantive leadership across each of our PCTs.  This was felt to be a consequence of the recent changes proposed in the White Paper.”