STRUCTURE: The departing chair of NHS Peterborough has spoken out about the primary care trust clustering process, which he says has not “engaged” with the local population.

At the end of September a letter from national director for improvement and efficiency Jim Easton said all clusters must have a single board, a single executive and only one chair. The Cambridgeshire and Peterborugh PCT cluster had planned to maintain separate boards but are now to be governed by a single board.

NHS Peterborough chair Derek Harris announced last week he would stand down at the end of November. In a statement he criticised the clustering process.

He said: “It is with great sadness that I am resigning as chairman of NHS Peterborough and I will therefore be unable to help oversee the transition to clinically led commissioning.

“The decision process to move rapidly to a clustered board has not, I believe, engaged properly with the non-executive directors who are appointed to represent the views of local people. I have made my dissatisfaction known to the strategic health authority and the Appointments Commission.”

Maureen Donnelly, who has been chair of NHS Cambridgeshire since it was formed in 2006, has been named as chair of the new single cluster board.