The NHS Commissioning Board has appointed to 16 of its 25 local area team director posts, whose holders are charged with securing “a strategic overview of the system” and overseeing service reconfiguration.

A second round of advertising and interviews will be carried out for the remaining appointments.

The job description for the directors, seen by HSJ (see attached), says they will “develop and secure a strategic overview of the system”, and “work in partnership with [clinical commissioning groups] and [health and wellbeing boards] to oversee and assure the planning and re-design of services, particularly large scale and complex service reconfigurations on behalf of the [board]”.

The role of the board locally reflects shift from how it was envisaged earlier in the government’s reform process, when the board was due to be more constrained to overseeing and co-ordinating commissioning groups. The Liberating the NHS white paper said the board would “support GP consortia in their commissioning decisions”.

However, it remains unclear how much autonomy local area teams will have, and how closely they will have to work according to a “single operating model”. Some will have significant additional functions and budgets because they will be responsible for specialised commissioning across and clinical networks and senates across a region. One source described a “two tier” system between “enhanced” and “bog standard” LATs.

The directors will “provide credible and visible clinical and professional managerial leadership at local area level; co-ordinating and overseeing planning, service quality and financial performance and assuring emergency preparedness and response”, the description says.

Chief operating officer and deputy chief executive of the NHS Commissioning Board Ian Dalton said: “I am delighted that we have made these key appointments to such important leadership posts.

“This puts us in a position to quickly develop the local presence of the NHS Commissioning Board, building strong relationships with our partners and communities to firmly focus on driving improvement for our patients.”

Those appointed so far are:

North

  • Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral: Moira Dumma (currently director of commissioning development at NHS Midlands and East SHA Cluster)
  • Merseyside: Clare Duggan (currently director of strategic change at NHS Merseyside PCT Cluster)
  • Greater Manchester: Mike Burrows (currently chief executive of NHS Greater Manchester PCT Cluster)
  • South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw: Andy Buck (currently chief executive of NHS South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw PCT Cluster)
  • North Yorkshire and Humber: Chris Long (currently chief executive of NHS North Yorkshire and York PCT Cluster and NHS Humberside PCT Cluster)
  • Durham, Darlington and Tees: Cameron Ward (currently director of commissioning development at NHS North of England SHA Cluster)

  Midlands and East

  • Essex: Andrew Pike (currently chief executive of South Essex PCT Cluster)
  • Hertfordshire and the South Midlands: Jane Halpin (currently chief executive of NHS Hertfordshire PCT Cluster)
  • Leicestershire and Lincolnshire: David Sharp (currently chief executive of NHS Derbyshire PCT Cluster)
  • Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire: Derek Bray (currently chief executive of NHS Nottinghamshire PCT Cluster)
  • Shropshire and Staffordshire: Graham Urwin (currently chief executive of NHS Staffordshire PCT Cluster)
  • Birmingham and the Black Country: Wendy Saviour (currently director of partnerships at NHS Commissioning Board Authority)

 London

  • London: Simon Weldon (currently director of operations and delivery at North West London Commissioning Partnership)

 South of England

  • Surrey and Sussex: Amanda Fadero (currently chief executive of NHS Sussex PCT Cluster)
  • Wessex:  Debbie Fleming (currently chief executive of Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth PCT Cluster)
  • Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly: Ann James (currently chief executive of NHS Devon, Plymouth and Torbay PCT Cluster)