• Three national directors step down from NHS Improvement
  • Regional directors for London and North West have also left the regulator

NHS Improvement has announced that five of its directors are stepping down, as the organisation combines its management with NHS England.

Three national directors and two regional directors said they were stepping down in statements today.

The national directors are Kathy McLean, currently medical director and chief operating officer; Adam Sewell-Jones, currently director of improvement; and Stephen Hay, currently director of regulation and deputy chief executive. Dr McLean and Mr Hay are members of the NHS Improvement board. 

The regional directors are Steve Russell, NHSI’s regional managing director for London; and Lyn Simpson, regional MD for the North.

It comes as NHS England and NHS Improvement confirm several roles in their top team, including seven joint regional directors.

The departing directors are expected to remain in their roles until the end of March. 

Ian Dalton, NHSI chief executive, expressed his “sincere thanks” to the directors.

Mr Hay is the only member of the NHSI top team who was part of Monitor when it started its role as the regulator of foundation trusts in 2004. He said the plan for a combined NHSE and I was “an exciting vision which needs a team committed over the next five years to realise its potential”.

“I will miss being part of that, but for me it’s time to look at fresh opportunities,” he added.

Dr McLean, who has held several national and regional roles and was previously a physician and medical director at Derby Hospitals Foundation Trust, said: “I feel very proud and fortunate to have worked with so many dedicated and talented people across the NHS… Making the decision to leave at this time was not easy but I feel it is the right time to go and I look forward to contributing to the NHS in a different way.”

Mr Sewell-Jones, who was previously deputy chief executive at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals, said he planned to “return to a role closer to service delivery”; Ms Simpson said she was “looking to move into a more frontline role”; and Mr Russell said: “It has been 21 years since I joined the NHS as a management trainee and as my heart is working on the frontline, the time is right for me to serve the NHS in other ways.”

The new NHS England and NHS Improvement top team revealed