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Whichever way the decision goes on whether to retain existing boundaries for the Suffolk and North East Essex ICS, or – as many expect – to make the NHS’ boundaries coterminous with the county council borders, there will be disquiet amongst some NHS leaders.
Most trust leaders on the patch would like to see the current boundary retained but, as we have reported, primary care leaders in Essex and Suffolk would welcome a return to being coterminous with the county councils.
While local trust leaders warn a boundary change would cause unnecessary disruption, the local LMCs argue the border was only created to support the merger of Colchester and Ipswich hospitals, and creates nothing but complications for primary care and integrating with social care.
On a positive note, neither side should have too long to wait for a decision now, with health and social care secretary Matt Hancock understood to be making an announcement on all the potential ICS boundary changes in the coming weeks.
The longlist grows longer
Another name is believed to have been added to the Sir-Simon-Stevens-successor hat.
Several well-placed sources have told HSJ that the chief executive of Leeds City Council, Tom Riordan, has applied for the job. He lacks NHS management experience but is known for championing work on improving health and integration in Leeds. He is an influential member of the West Yorkshire and Harrogate integrated care system.
Mr Riordan joins a growing list of candidates for the role including NHSE deputy chief executive Amanda Pritchard, Northumbria Healthcare and former NHS Improvement chief Sir Jim Mackey, and NHS Improvement chair Baroness Dido Harding. KPMG partner Mark Britnell has yet to clarify whether he will apply.
Mr Riordan graduated from Oxford University in 1989, making him a close contemporary of Sir Simon, who gained his degree two years earlier. He joined the civil service, on its fast track scheme, in 1990. Seven years later he moved to Leeds and set up Yorkshire Forward, a regional development agency. He became chief executive of Leeds City Council in 2010.
Asked about his application, a spokeswoman for the council said: ”The council won’t be commenting on this speculation.” Read our full story here.