• Regional directors include three former NHS trust chief executives and four existing NHSE or I employees.

The joint directors of the new NHS England and Improvement regional teams have been confirmed by the system managers. They include three former hospital chief executives and an ex-Department of Health director general.

They are:

  • South West – Elizabeth O’Mahony, currently NHSI’s chief financial officer.
  • South East – Anne Eden, already joint NHSE and I regional director for the South East.
  • Midlands – Dale Bywater, currently NHSI’s regional director for the Midlands and East.
  • East of England – Ann Radmore, currently Kingston Hospital Foundation Trust chief executive.
  • North West – Bill McCarthy, currently deputy vice chancellor at Bradford University and chair of Bradford Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust and a former NHS England and Department of Health executive director.
  • North East and Yorkshire – Richard Barker, currently NHSE’s director for the North of England.
  • London – Sir David Sloman, currently Royal Free London Foundation Trust.

Three of the seven – Sir David, Ms Eden and Ms Radmore – are former hospital chiefs. Four of them are already employed by NHSE or I, three as regional directors.

It has been a long process with those affected told they were at risk early in the summer, several months after early details of the senior structure were announced in March. The regional posts were advertised, with head hunters appointed, in September.

Among the current NHSE and I regional directors Paul Watson (NHSE in the Midlands and East), Jennifer Howells (both organisations in the South West), Steve Russell (NHSI in London) and Lyn Simpson (NHSI in the North) are leaving, while Jane Cummings (NHSE in London) is retiring.  

In the advertisement, the regulators said that in future “the locus of decision making will be centred on the regional directors and their teams”.

NHSI chief Ian Dalton has previously said the new regional directorates would be “most significant regional entities we’ve had for a number of years”, and that: “It’s fair to say many decisions about the oversight and support of the NHS and organisations within it have been taken in London regardless of where the recipients of that decisions are [and] I don’t think that’s been to the NHS’s advantage”.

The new RDs will form part of a new “NHS executive group” which according to an NHSE and I statement “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”.

South West – Elizabeth O’Mahony

Elizabeth is chief financial officer at NHS Improvement. She was previously finance director of the NHS Trust Development Authority, and before that of the South West Strategic Health Authority.

South East – Anne Eden

Anne has been regional director of the South East region for both NHS Improvement and NHS England since October 2017, and was previously regional director for the south region for NHS Improvement and the NHS Trust Development Authority. She has worked in acute, mental health, community and specialist services, and was Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust chief executive from 2006.

Midlands – Dale Bywater

Dale has been regional director of the Midlands and East region at NHS Improvement since the organisation’s creation in April 2016, and previously in the NHS Trust Development Authority since 2012. Before that he was national director of provider delivery at the Department of Health, director of provider development for the Midlands and East Strategic Health Authority Cluster, and director of performance and operations in NHS East Midlands. Previously he worked in senior operational roles in acute hospitals.

East of England – Ann Radmore

Ann is chief executive of Kingston Hospital Foundation Trust, which was rated as “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission earlier this year. She has previously worked as director of the better care fund programme at NHS England, as chief executive of the London Ambulance Service, and chief of several primary care trusts in London.

North West – Bill McCarthy

Bill is deputy vice chancellor (operations) at the University of Bradford and chair of Bradford Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust. He has previously worked as policy director for NHS England, in senior national roles at the Department of Health, as chief executive of City of York Council, and as chief executive of the Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority. He was made chair of Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust in 2016.

North East and Yorkshire – Richard Barker

Richard joined NHS England as north regional director in 2012, having previously been chief operating officer of NHS North of England. Previous roles include chief operating officer for NHS South of Tyne and Wear and an executive director at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust.

London - Sir David Sloman

Sir David is currently group chief executive of the Royal Free London Foundation Trust, having joined the Royal Free Hampstead Trust in 2009. He was previously chief of Whittington Hospital Trust, and before that of Haringey Primary Care Trust.

The new NHS England and NHS Improvement top team revealed