• New structure of roles for senior managers at NHS England and NHS Improvement to be revealed next week
  • Staff consultation delayed after proposals submitted to chief executives Simon Stevens and Ian Dalton
  • Organisations aiming to work closer together to cut costs

NHS regulators are set to unveil their proposals for a new merged structure for hundreds of senior managers next week after a one week delay, HSJ can reveal.

Executive senior managers at both NHS England and NHS Improvement will be told next Friday (16 November) how the joint working of the two organisations will affect their jobs.

The announcement will mark the start of a six week consultation with the affected staff. The regulators told HSJ they would confirm the number of staff subject to the consultation next week, although HSJ understands between 200 and 250 managers are affected by the restructuring.

The consultation was due to be launched yesterday. However, it was delayed after draft proposals were shared with Simon Stevens and Ian Dalton, chief executives of NHS England and NHSI respectively. This prompted further amendments to the plans.

In an internal briefing note to managers leaked to HSJ, Emily Lawson, NHS England’s director of transformation and corporate operations, said it was “important that we take the time needed to thoroughly test and review this set of proposals with our two CEOs”.

Ms Lawson, the project’s senior responsible officer, told managers she “appreciated” the delay to the consultation was “particularly challenging for you given the personal impact of this important milestone”.

The regulators will launch the consultation with trade unions next Thursday, before senior managers receive the proposals next Friday.

The consultation will end on 30 December. Paul West, a joint working programme director, is leading the work.

HSJ asked which areas the amendments that caused the delay related to, and when a final decision would be taken following the consultation, but NHS England and NHSI did not respond to the questions.

Other elements of the plan to integrate the work of NHS England and NHSI include recruiting several shared executive directors to posts covering finance, nursing, medicine, and transformation.

New national director roles are also sought for areas such as provider strategy, improvement, and commercial. Seven regional chiefs will be appointed to lead local teams. 

A spokesman for the two organisations said appointments would be confirmed “shortly”, and further details about the management structure would be “provided publicly” after the consultation with staff and unions.

The new joint operating model must enable NHSI and NHS England to cut their costs by 20 per cent, according to previous board papers, and it is hoped the new structure will lead to less duplication and a more effective way of working.