• “Locus of decision making will be centred more on the regional directors” than before
  • Seven teams have “crucial role as ‘translators’” between national and local
  • New regional boundaries 

The seven new joint NHS England and NHS Improvement regional teams will “play a major leadership role in the geographies that they manage”, the organisations have said.

There will be a “different kind of local leadership of the NHS, where regional directors promote, encourage and support local systems to achieve more integrated and sustainable models of care”. 

“It also means that the locus of decision making will be centred more on the regional directors and their teams, with national teams generally providing support and intervention where agreed with regional directors,” the paper says.

It adds: “We see the new regional teams as playing a crucial role as ‘translators’ between the national level and local health and care systems, helping to ensure that all our work is responsive to local system needs.”

The regional directors will “report to the two CEOs and be full members of the national NHS executive group”.

“Through this, they will help agree where a more standardised model to policy and delivery makes sense to ensure a unified approach, alongside the areas where regional teams should have the authority and discretion to design their own approaches or to implement in a more locally specific way,” the paper says.

The organisations said in March they would move to seven shared regional teams, under single regional directors. At present there are five regional patches.

Shape of the regions

The London, South East and South West regions will remain in the current configuration.

The other four regions will be: 

  • North West: Covering Lancashire and South Cumbria; Greater Manchester; and Cheshire and Merseyside.
  • North East and Yorkshire: Cumbria and the North East; West Yorkshire; Humber, Coast and Vale; and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw. 
  • Midlands: Staffordshire, Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin; Derbyshire; Lincolnshire; Nottinghamshire; Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland; Black Country and West Birmingham; Birmingham and Solihull; Coventry and Warwickshire; Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and Northamptonshire.
  • East of England: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough; Norfolk and Waveney; Suffolk and North East Essex; Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes; Hertfordshire and West Essex; and Mid and South Essex.