Oxfordshire CCG has appointed a chief executive and accountable officer to replace Dr Steve Richards, who lost his place on the group’s board following a vote by local GPs.

David Smith, currently accountable officer for Kingston CCG, will bring with him 39 years of health service experience, including working with organisations in financial turnaround.

Oxfordshire CCG is predicting a deficit of £7.6m in 2014-15, following an estimated £6.1m shortfall last year.

Dr Joe McManners, Oxfordshire clinical chairman said: “We are delighted that David Smith has accepted this post. His track record in leading health and social care services and his considerable financial background mean that he will bring a wealth of valuable skills and experience to Oxfordshire. 

“I look forward to working with him to transform our health and social care system into one of the best in the country”.

Mr Smith was previously chief executive of East Elmbridge and Mid Surrey Primary Care Trust. Before this, he was director of performance at Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority.

Interim chief executive Ian Wilson will continue to cover the role until Mr Smith starts in June.

Dr Richards was forced to step down earlier this year following a vote of local GPs triggered by his attempt to move from chief executive to clinical chair.

It is the second attempt to fill the post after an attempt around Christmas time failed. This time, the salary on offer has increased from £150,000 to £170,000.