WORKFORCE: An NHS England regional director has been announced as the permanent accountable officer for a North West clinical commissioning group rocked by leadership turmoil last year.

Jon Develing, who is currently NHS England’s regional director of operations and delivery in the North, will join Wirral CCG in May.

Mr Develing was Wirral’s interim accountable officer until December. He took over the management of the CCG in May when its accountable officer and chair “stepped away” from their duties while a probe into the group’s leadership was carried out.

The NHS England review concluded that Wirral’s structures were “not fit for purpose” and that the relationship between the accountable officer and chair, who permanently stepped down in December, was dysfunctional.

Under Mr Develing’s leadership the recommendations of the review began to be implemented, including the approval of an amended structure and constitution for the organisation. 

Pete Naylor, who was Wirral’s interim chair and confirmed as permanent chair earlier this month, said the CCG was “really pleased that Jon is joining us permanently”.

He added: “Jon was a tremendous support to Wirral CCG as interim accountable officer during 2014, putting in place the building blocks of a vibrant and successful organisation serving the health needs of the people of Wirral.

“The fact that Jon sought to return to Wirral to lead the CCG on a permanent basis means he can build on the work he started.”

Mr Develing, who will be leaving NHS England to take up the post at Wirral, said he was “truly delighted” to be returning to the group.

“I was pleased to start making a difference at the CCG during 2014 and it gives me tremendous personal satisfaction that I can now return to give a long term focus to continuing that work and making the CCG a high performing commissioning organisation.”

He will take over from John Wicks, who has been Wirral’s interim accountable officer since December.