• Glenn Douglas to run six Kent CCGs
  • Ex-Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells chief began running STP full time in September
  • One local CCG refuses to be involved in joint arrangement and another is yet to commit

A former acute trust chief executive is to head the new single strategic commissioner covering six clinical commissioning groups in Kent and Medway.

It has been announced today that Glenn Douglas, who ran Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust until last September, is the new accountable officer for all the CCGs.

He will retain his role as chief executive of the Kent and Medway sustainability and transformation partnership, which he has led since it was formed in 2016. Mr Douglas has been leading the STP full time since leaving Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust.

Mr Douglas, who worked in finance and operational management, will take up the new role immediately.

He will head a shared management team which will carry out some commissioning on behalf of the six CCGs: West Kent; Canterbury and Coastal; Ashford; Medway; Swale; and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley.

All the CCGs will retain their statutory responsibilities for the time being, although a formal merger is one option in the future.

Thanet CCG has chosen not to be part of the strategic commissioner and GPs in South Kent Coast have asked for a further meeting before making a decision on whether to join.

Dr Fiona Armstrong, chair of NHS Swale CCG and co-chair of the Kent and Medway clinical and professional board, said: “We are delighted with the appointment, which will help ensure we strengthen where the CCGs work together for the benefit of patients and residents across all our areas; and how we work individually on local care plans in each CCG.

“Glenn is an experienced NHS leader and knows Kent and Medway well. He has already been leading the work on integrating health and social care and helping commissioners and providers to work more effectively together.”

Mr Douglas will be better paid than many CCG accountable officers. Guidance put out by the NHS Commissioning Board – now NHS England – in advance of CCGs’ formation in 2013 suggested the top pay should normally be no more than £130,000 – significantly less than many trust chiefs are paid.

Mr Douglas was paid £200,000 to £205,000 in 2016-17, according to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells’ annual report. HSJ understands his pay remained the same when he took up the STP job full time and will not change with his latest appointment.