The combined provider regulator bringing together Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority will be called NHS Improvement, Jeremy Hunt announced this morning.

  • New body will be called NHS Improvement
  • Chaired by Ed Smith and with Lord Ara Darzi as a non-executive director
  • Jeremy Hunt promises “smarter metrics”

The body will be chaired by Ed Smith and Lord Ara Darzi will become a non-executive director.

Ara Darzi

Lord Darzi will be a non-executive director of NHS Improvement

The move was announced by the health secretary in a speech at the King’s Fund in London this morning.

He said he expected a new chief executive to be appointed to the body in September. Mr Smith will lead the recruitment process.

Mr Hunt said NHS providers would be offered less targets in return for more transparency.

In his speech said: “If you have independent, smart measures of performance area by area, hospital by hospital, a health secretary can relax a little. You can start to devolve power - safe on the basis not just of ‘earned autonomy’ for people delivering good quality care, but also because where there are problems, many of them will self-correct.

“People often say that they need to be given permission to be radical so they can do the right thing for patients. To be empowered to transform services so that they are future proofed, so that they are fit for the 21st century. Well that moment has arrived and we want to support you make those changes.”

He added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank [Monitor chair] Baroness Hanham, [Monitor chief executive] David Bennett, [TDA chair] Peter Carr, [former TDA chief executive] David Flory and [TDA acting chief executive] Bob Alexander for their outstanding service to the NHS over many years for which we are incredibly grateful.”

The speech included other significant policy announcements on “international buddying” for five hospital trusts, seven day working for hospital doctors and patient information.