HSJ’s round-up of the biggest stories and debate from Tuesday

New CCIO named

NHS bosses have appointed emergency medicine consultant Simon Eccles as the health service’s new chief clinical information officer.

The Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust consultant replaces Keith McNeil, who resigned last year to return to Australia, in a role shared across NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Dr Eccles is only the second person to hold the position which was established in 2016 in response to Professor Bob Wachter’s review of NHS IT. He will chair the national information board and report to NHS England national director for operations and information Matthew Swindells.

He is also NHS England’s urgent and emergency care clinical director for London and previously worked for the Department of Health and Social Care as lead for the NHS mail system.

A job ad, published in October, said the successful candidate would oversee “the implementation of Personalised Health and Care 2020 on behalf of the health and care system, including direct oversight of the £4bn NHS technology investment allocated for the next three years”.

Change of plan

One of the trusts in the Essex hospital group has seen a dramatic slide in its financial position and a series of incidents in its maternity services.

Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust, part of the group with Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust and Southend University Hospital FT, has seen its predicted year end deficit decline from £25m to £55m.

The three trusts agreed to pursue a merger last month.

The £310m turnover organisation said the deterioration was driven by savings plans failing to deliver and higher than expected spending on medical agency staff.

Meanwhile, Basildon’s latest finance report showed the £320m turnover trust has also reforecast its year end deficit – from £24m to £30m.

The similarly sized Southend is still predicting it will meet its planned £15m deficit target.