• Oxfordshire CCG chief executive to leave at the end of the year
  • Clinical chair has also said he will not seek re-election
  • CCG said it does not affect controversial reconfiguration process

The two senior leaders of one of the largest clinical commissioning groups are leaving the roles, they have announced.

Oxfordshire CCG chief executive David Smith - who is also the lead for the patch’s sustainability and transformation partnership - will retire from full time work at the end of the year.

The CCG’s clinical chair, Joe McManners, has also decided not to seek re-election to the post in February 2018 and will stand down once a successor has been appointed.

Dr McManners said: “I wish to re-balance my working life to contribute fully as a senior member of my GP practice for the benefit of my patients.”

Mr Smith, who was previously Kingston Primary Care Trust and CCG chief executive, said: “I came to Oxfordshire three years ago but have now reached a time in my life where I am keen to reduce my work commitments, after more than 40 years of working in the NHS. Whilst I am retiring from full time work I will be continuing to work on a part-time basis in other areas.”

When the pair took up their posts the CCG had run into financial problems, which have since been eliminated, and was in conflict with its main hospital provider over contracting.

The announcement of their departure comes as the CCG considers controversial reconfiguration proposals, which could see downgrades to accident and emergency and maternity provision at Horton General Hospital in Banbury.

A spokeswoman for the CCG told HSJ the decisions by Mr Smith and Dr McManners to stand down “will not affect this process”.

She said: “The situation facing obstetrics, use of acute beds, stroke services and critical care has not changed and the decisions on proposals for these services will go ahead as planned at the extraordinary board meeting in August.

“Transformation is a system wide programme and the decisions which need to be taken at the extraordinary board meeting in August will be made by the whole CCG board.”

However, the MP for North Oxfordshire, Victoria Prentis, has written to Mr Smith to say she is “concerned about the progress that can be made with two key figures from the CCG moving on”.

The consultation is currently the subject of an ongoing judicial review by councils covering the area. The CCG has carried out a first phase consultation, and is due to make decisions on some services in August. A second phase consultation was due to follow but there is no confirmed timing for it.