A strategic health authority’s finance director has been given the top finance post at the NHS Commissioning Board.

Paul Baumann from NHS London was announced as the new national director of finance for the board this afternoon.

The appointment is subject to the passing of the Health and Social Care Bill.

In a statement Mr Baumann said: “This new role comes at a crucial time for the NHS. I am looking forward to taking up this unique opportunity to contribute to the commissioning board’s twin goals of driving up health outcomes across the country and securing the best use of the £80bn and resources, for which it will be accountable. Finance will need to play a central role in delivering on the £20bn QIPP [quality, innovation, productivity and prevention] challenge while ensuring the success of the new clinically led commissioning structures. 

“I have learned a lot from working with some outstanding colleagues across London over the last five years, and the experience of finding new ways to tackle London’s very challenging financial issues should stand me in good stead as I take on this ambitious agenda.” 

Mr Baumann joined NHS London five years ago after 22 years with Unilever.

In a press release NHS London chief executive Dane Ruth Carnall said: “I am delighted that Paul has secured this prestigious national appointment. His contribution to our work in London has been profound not just in financial management but also in his leadership of major service change.

“As a colleague he is universally respected and admired. In NHS London, we shall miss him greatly but look forward to supporting him in any way possible as he tackles the significant challenges of his new role.” 

Commissioning board chief executive Sir David Nicholson added: “I’m delighted to welcome Paul to the board. As a highly respected and experienced director of finance, he is an extremely valuable asset to our senior leadership team. His strong reputation and excellent track-record will be vital as we work to achieve maximum health benefit for the nation from the resources we invest.”