WORKFORCE: Two Hampshire clinical commissioning groups have announced they will be sharing a chief officer.

It was announced today that Richard Samuel has been appointed interim accountable officer for South Eastern Hampshire and Fareham and Gosport CCGs.

Between them the two CCGs cover a population of 400,000.

Mr Samuel was previously director of strategic planning and corporate affairs at Hampshire primary care trust.

He has also served as divisional general manager for the Wessex Renal and Transplant Service, as assistant chief executive for the former Hampshire and Isle of Wight strategic health authority, and as deputy chief executive for the North Hampshire and Blackwater Valley and Hart PCTs.

He will report directly to the two CCG chairs – Dr Barbara Rushton at South Eastern Hampshire and Dr Koyih Tan at Fareham and Gosport.

The CCGs are also jointly advertising the post of chief finance officer.

Dr Rushton said it was a “pivotal appointment” for the CCGs. “Richard has terrifically wide-ranging management experience in the health service and his appointment will really help us press on with our agenda to improve health services for the 400,000 residents that we will be responsible for,” she said.

The two CCGs between them have 49 constituent member GP practices and an anticipated combined £603m budget for the 408,000 residents in their areas.

Keith Barnard and Malcolm Heritage Owen have joined Fareham and Gosport CCG as lay advisors, while Tracey Faraday-Drake has joined South Eastern Hampshire CCG in the same capacity.