• Former Conservative adviser and Guardian columnist included on 56-strong panel
  • Panel includes clinical and managerial leaders, patient champions and charities
  • However, relative lack of senior union representation and only two council representatives

A former special adviser to senior Conservative Iain Duncan Smith and a Guardian commentator have joined the new NHS Assembly, alongside a diverse group of leading NHS figures, charity chiefs and patient champions.

Charlotte Pickles, who previously advised Mr Duncan Smith on his controversial welfare reforms and is set to join think tank Reform as director, and senior left-wing social and NHS policy journalist Polly Toynbee are two notable additions to the group.

Ms Pickles is currently managing editor of right-wing website Unherd, launched in 2017 by ConservativeHome founder and former The Times comment editor Tim Montgomerie, which has included pieces calling for radical reform of the NHS.

One article from April 2018 said the public’s “love affair [with the NHS was] doing the British public a disservice…. What are we waiting for? It’s time to slay the NHS dragon”.

The 56-strong panel, which will be co-chaired by prominent GP Clare Gerada and former King’s Fund chief Sir Chris Ham, does not, however, include any senior non-professional union representatives.

While Dr Gerada and Royal College of Nursing president Anne Marie Rafferty are union reps, the panel does not include Unite, Unison or other unions. HSJ understands they did not apply to be on the panel.

The panel is also light on local authority and social care leaders, with just two local government leaders included on the panel established to advise NHS England and NHS Improvement on the implementation of the long-term plan.

The list includes some well-regarded NHS leaders, such as Steve Dunn and Sir Andrew Cash, chief executives of West Suffolk FT and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System respectively.

Former senior NHS England executive Jim Easton, now chief executive of healthcare at Care UK and vice chair of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, is also on the panel.

Patient representatives include Patients Association chief Rachel Power and prominent disability and health advocate Lucy Watts.

The royal colleges are represented by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges chair Carrie MacEwan as well as, among others, Royal College of Physicians president Andrew Goddard.

Like the targets review group, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine is, however, not on the panel.

The two local government representatives are: Carolyn Wilkins, chief executive of Oldham Council and accountable officer of NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group, and Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council and chair of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board.

The British Medical Association is represented by Gurdas Singh, a medical student and co-chair of the BMA’s medical student committee. 

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “The NHS Assembly rightly reflects a wide diversity of patient, public and staff views and expertise. It builds on the inclusive process for designing the NHS long-term plan, and will help guide its implementation in the years to come.”

Dr Gerada added: “The quality and range of the assembly members, and the large number who applied, is testament to the special place that the NHS has in the nation’s heart.

“The NHS Assembly will play a key part in ensuring the delivery of the long-term plan, and therefore shaping the future of the NHS.”

The full list is as follows: 

MemberTitle and description
Alex Fox Mr Fox is the chief executive of Shared Lives Plus and a trustee of the Social Care Institute for Excellence.
Amy Overend Ms Overend is a neonatal intensive care sister and coordinator in Bolton and is on the board of trustees and non-executive directors at Bliss.
Caroline Abrahams Ms Abrahams is the charity director of Age UK. She is also a part-time carer for her mother.
Charlotte Pickles Ms Pickles is managing editor of the comment and current affairs site Unherd.com and will soon be taking the role of director at Reform.
Chris Hopson Mr Hopson is the chief executive of NHS Providers.
Clenton Farquharson MBE Mr Farquharson is chair of Think Local Act Personal, and an ambassador for Disability Rights UK.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth Mr Hudspeth is leader of Oxfordshire County Council and chairs the community wellbeing board of the Local Government Association.
Craig Harman Mr Harman is a paramedic and head of 999 service delivery at London Ambulance Service.
Dame Jackie Daniel Dame Jackie is chief executive of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Trust.
Dr Andy Knox Dr Knox is a GP in Carnforth, Lancashire and director of population health for the Morecombe Bay Health and Care System.
Dr Carolyn Wilkins Dr Wilkins is chief executive of Oldham Council and accountable officer of NHS Oldham CCG.
Dr Claire Fuller Dr Fuller is a practising GP and leads Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System.
Dr Graham Jackson Dr Jackson is a practising GP and clinical lead at Buckinghamshire ICS. He is also co-chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners.
Dr Robert Klaber Dr Klaber is a consultant general paediatrician & deputy medical director at Imperial College Healthcare Trust.
Dr Robina Shah Dr Shah is a chartered consultant psychologist, director of the Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience at the University of Manchester Medical School and the UK chair of the Patient and Partnership Group at Royal College of General Practitioners.
Dr Stephen Dunn Dr Dunn is chief executive of the West Suffolk Foundation Trust.
Dr Vishanka Ratnasuriya Dr Ratnasuriya is a practising GP in Birmingham.
Fatima Khan-Shah Ms Khan-Shah is a (patient and public involvement) lay member for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Joint Committee of CCGs.
Gabrielle Anne-Marie Mathews Ms Mathews is a third-year medical student and a member of the NHS Youth Forum and the British Youth Council.
Gurdas Singh Mr Singh is a medical student and co-chair of the BMA’s medical student committee.
Helen Hassell Ms Hassell is a parent carer and an active member of My Life Choices strategic co-production group in Nottingham City and County.
Helen Walker Ms Walker is chief executive of Carers UK.
Imelda Redmond Ms Redmond is the national director for Healthwatch England.
Jagtar Singh Mr Singh is chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust
Jeremy Hughes Mr Hughes is chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society.
Jim Easton Mr Easton is the vice-chair of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network.
Joan Saddler Ms Saddler is co-chair of the NHS Equality and Diversity Council and is associate director of patients and communities at the NHS Confederation.
Joselle Wright Ms Wright is a consultant midwife at University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust.
Juliet Bouverie Ms Bouverie is chief executive of the Stroke Association.
Kendra Schneller Ms Schneller is a nurse practitioner in London providing primary care to people who are experiencing homelessness, people with addictions and refugee and asylum seekers.
Lucy Watts Ms Watts is a prominent disability and health advocate.
Lynda Thomas Ms Thomas is chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support and vice chair of The Richmond Group of Charities.
Nazia Ahmed Ms Ahmed is an occupational therapist and inpatient therapy services lead at the Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust.
Niall Dickson Mr Dickson is chief executive of the NHS Confederation.
Patricia Miller Ms Miller is chief executive of Dorset County Hospital serving a rural community.
Paul Farmer Mr Farmer is chief executive of MIND and chair of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations.
Penny Owens Ms Owens is a radiographer and director of Allied Health Professionals, Division of Cancer, Diagnostics and Clinical Support at Royal Derby Hospital.
Polly Toynbee Ms Toynbee is a journalist, who writes for The Guardian and The Observer covering social issues and politics, specialising in the NHS.
Professor Andrew Goddard Professor Goddard is a consultant gastroenterologist and general physician in Derby and is president of the Royal College of Physicians.
Professor Anne Marie Rafferty Professor Rafferty trained as a nurse and is professor of nursing policy at the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care at King’s College London.
Professor Caroline MacEwan Professor MacEwan is a consultant ophthalmologist and chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
Professor Helen Stokes Lampard Professor Stokes Lampard is a practising GP and the chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Professor Lesley Regan Professor Regan is head of obstetrics and gynaecology at St Mary’s Campus, Imperial College, London and is president of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Professor Russell Viner Professor Viner is a practising paediatrician and a researcher in health services research, public health and policy for children and young people. He is also president of the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health.
Professor Shafi Ahmed Professor Ahmed is a consultant laparoscopic colorectal cancer surgeon at The Royal London and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals and sits on the council of the Royal College of Surgeons.
Professor Sian Ellard Professor Ellard is professor of genomic medicine at the University of Exeter Medical School and consultant clinical scientist at the Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust and head of the Molecular Genetics Department
Rachel Power Ms Power is the chief executive of the Patients Association.
Ravi Sharma Mr Sharma is a pharmacist and the director for England at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
Revd Mark Burleigh Mr Burleigh is head of chaplaincy & bereavement services at Leicester and a member of the Network for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care in Health.
Richard Stubbs Mr Stubbs is the chief executive of the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network.
Simon Gillespie Mr Gillespie is chief executive at the British Heart Foundation and president of the European Heart Network.
Sir Andrew Cash Sir Andrew is chief executive of the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System.
Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett Sir Thomas is co-founder and chair of The Marshall Institute within the London School of Economics and chair of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust.
Tim Nicholls Mr Nicholls is head of policy and public affairs at the National Autistic Society.
Yvonne Newbold Ms Newbold is a learning disability champion who earned the National Learning Disabilities/Autism Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.