Immediate past chair of the Royal College of GPs Steve Field is to chair a panel as part of the government’s “listening exercise” over NHS reform, HSJ has learned.


It is believed the panel will be launched today with with the role of advising prime minister David Cameron, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and health secretary Andrew Lansley.

The government this week announced a one month “pause” in the progress of the Health Bill for further consultation, and said it may after that make ammendments.

Professor Field has been one of the leading supporters of the government’s GP commissioning plans.

It is believed “streams” of work will be led by Julie Moore, the University Hospitals Birmingham chief executive; Kathy McLean, the NHS East Midlands medical director; Geoff Alltimes, chief executive of Hammersmith and Fulham Council; and Sir Stephen Bubb, the chief executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations.

The Department of Health has declined to confirm details.

HSJ understands David Kerr, a health adviser under former prime minister Tony Blair and professor of cancer medicine, is also on the panel. It was launched at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, today.

HSJ understands the government has been approaching people to ask them to sit on the panel in recent days, and will continue to invite others.

The terms of reference of the panel have not yet been confirmed to participants.

HSJ understands those taking part will meet today to discuss how the panel will function, which may include several group streams. Some were informed as late as last night.