• The £396,000 includes agency fees and contractual payments to employ turnaround director “during the current financial year”.
  • Actual length of appointment still subject to agreement
  • Post filled by Keith Pringle, who has previously worked with Hampshire CCGs and Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust

APPOINTMENT: NHS England has authorised a clinical commissioning group to spend £396,000 on an interim turnaround director.

Kernow CCG, which is currently subject to legal directions, said the figure includes agency fees and contractual payments to employ a turnaround director “during the current financial year”.



NHS England has introduced new controls on the pay of interim staff

The actual length of the appointment is still subject to agreement, it said.

The post has been filled by Keith Pringle, who has previously worked with CCGs in Hampshire and at Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust.

If a CCG is under legal directions, every director level appointment must be approved by NHS England. The national body confirmed it had approved Mr Pringle’s appointment.

Last week NHS England announced new financial controls on interim appointments, which mean all CCGs have to request permission to pay more than £600 per day.

This came after HSJ revealed the extent of spending on “off payroll” executives at troubled CCGs, including the £25,000 that Kernow CCG spent on Ian Tipney, who acted as turnaround director for up to three months in 2015-16.

Kernow CCG said it is required to have a turnaround director in place as part of its legal directions.

Its statement added: “Keith Pringle joined as interim turnaround director in April and will remain with the organisation while new plans and processes are embedded to lay the foundations to put Kernow [CCG] on a firmer financial footing.

“The £396,000 figure includes recruitment agency fees and contractual payments to employ a turnaround director during the current financial year. However, the exact length of employment for this assignment is still subject to agreement.

“Kernow produced a business case for the turnaround director and shared this with NHS England.

“This business case described potential costs to the CCG of £396,000 including irrecoverable VAT and expenses. The actual cost to be incurred will depend on how long the legal direction requiring a turnaround director remains in force.”

The CCG would not reveal the proportion that would go towards agency fees, saying this was a matter for the agency and its contractors. It said no headhunting fees were paid.

NHS England’s area team for the South said the CCG was placed under statutory directions last year because of the scale of its financial deficit, and the appointment of a turnaround director is a crucial element in “strengthening capacity to recover its position while safeguarding standards of care”.

The statement added it was “encouraged to see the early progress being made”.

A spokesman for NHS England’s national team added: “The financial reset document published last week sets out clear, tough new controls on the use of interim staff across CCGs, which will be enforced vigorously.”

NHS England permits CCG to spend nearly £400k on interim director