WORKFORCE: Cathy Ellis has been appointed as chair of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland cluster.

She was formerly chair of NHS Leicestershire and Rutland, prior to clustering.

NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland and NHS Leicester City had been among the first in the country to embrace joint working when it was announced last October that it was developing a joint executive team and was restructuring its operations to share the majority of functions across both organisations.

Cluster chief executive Catherine Griffiths said: “Over the course of the next 18 months our cluster focus will be on maintaining grip on quality and finance and delivering our statutory responsibilities, whilst also working with GPs and other clinicians to create the new system envisaged by the government.

“I want to put on record my thanks to Daxa Patel, the outgoing chair of NHS Leicester City, who has contributed so much to improving healthcare and reducing inequalities in the city over the last seven years.”

Ms Ellis added: “Whilst the clustering arrangements mean we are able to work in ever more joined up ways, I am absolutely committed to retaining a unique focus on the specific needs and challenges faced within both the city and the two counties.

“This will help us to ensure that we deliver the highest possible quality of care for all, while also handing over a solid legacy to the clinical commissioners of the future.”

Ms Ellis joined NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland as a non-executive director in 2006. She has been vice-chair since 2008 and was appointed acting chair in October 2010.

Her remuneration for the role of cluster chair is £42,033 per annum. The appointment will run from 1 August 2011 until March 2013.