The man responsible for managing Britain’s nuclear deterrent has been handed the job of overseeing the NHS’s finances as part of a welter of appointments to the new joint executive team for NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Julian Kelly, who has been director general within the Ministry of Defence’s nuclear division since May 2017, is due to take up the joint chief financial officer post by April 2019.

Mr Kelly was previously director general of public spending and finance at the Treasury, where he led work on the 2013 spending round, and has also held senior roles at the Border Agency and HSBC.

Paul Baumann stepped down as chief financial officer at NHSE earlier this year. NHS Improvement’s CFO, Elizabeth O’Mahony, has been appointed regional director for the south west.

The other national level posts have been filled by senior directors already working at the two national bodies. 

Professor Stephen Powis will be medical director, having been in this role for NHSE since the start of 2018. Ruth May will be chief nursing officer, having been executive director of nursing at NHSI since 2016.

Matthew Swindells, NHSE’s director of operations and information since 2016, will be deputy chief executive, while Pauline Philip will be director of emergency and elective care, having been jointly employed in a similar role since 2015.

Ian Dodge will be director for strategy and innovation and Emily Lawson will be director for transformation and corporate development, having both performed these roles for NHSE.

The seven new regional directors have also been confirmed.

NHSI’s deputy CEO and executive director of regulation Stephen Hay and NHSI’s executive medical director and chief operating officer Dr Kathy McLean are both stepping down, as is NHSI executive director of improvement Adam Sewell-Jones.

The new roles are part of a significant overhaul of the national NHS bodies, which is expected to cut running costs by 20 per cent.

The national bodies said recruitment is still ongoing for the roles of chief commercial officer, chief improvement officer, chief people officer, and chief provider strategy officer.

Simon Stevens and Ian Dalton will remain as chief executives of NHSE and NHSI respectively.

Mr Stevens said the appointments were an “important milestone in the closer working arrangement” between the organisations.

Mr Dalton said the appointments have secured “a number of exceptional leaders”, and added: “A number of our executive directors have taken this opportunity to pursue other leadership opportunities. They have been extremely valuable members of our team and I am grateful to each of them for their outstanding contributions to the NHS.”

The new executive group is set to hold its first meeting in January 2019, with the new national and regional directors expected to formally lead their integrated directorates by April 2019.

Meanwhile, NHS England said today that the government had appointed a new non-executive director to its board. Sir Munir Pirmohamed is a clinical pharmacologist and geneticist. He is the David Weatherall chair of medicine and NHS chair of pharmacogenetics at the University of Liverpool, and director of the Wolfson Centre for personalised medicine.


The new NHS England and NHS Improvement top team revealed