The former chief executive of the UK arm of health insurance company Aetna has been appointed to help develop a regional commissioning support service covering a 5.4 million population.

Vincent Sai is advising on the proposed Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Service, covering the East Midlands and the Luton and Bedfordshire primary care trust cluster.

Mr Sai led Aetna UK’s work providing commissioning services for primary care trusts until July. Before that he worked for Aetna in the US, where it is a leading health insurance provider.

NHS Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire chief executive John Parkes told HSJ he was leading the work with NHS Derby and Derbyshire chief executive David Sharpe, and had appointed Mr Sai to advise him.
Professor Parkes said a large CSS could carry out a small number of functions at the large regional scale, while it was likely 90 per cent of staff would work more locally, for example PCT cluster level or with clinical commissioning groups.

Several managers with significant commercial experience have been appointed to senior positions developing commissioning support. NHS Norfolk and NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney this week appointed Robert Garner, previously a director at consultancy Tribal Group, as interim managing director of Norfolk and Waveney CSS.

Ming Tang, who has worked as director of NHS West Midlands back-office provider HCS for two years, and previously worked for Accenture UK, is leading work developing national back-office commissioning support.

Angela Phillips, appointed as Greater Manchester commercial director of commissioning services, has worked at NHS Stockport since 2008, but previously held senior positions at Spire and Bupa.