NHS South East Essex and NHS South West Essex have formed a cluster under the leadership of a single chief executive. 

Confirmation of the move means the county’s five PCTs have now effectively split into two clusters.

Andrew Pike, previously both chief executive of NHS South East Essex and interim chief of NHS South West Essex, has been appointed to lead the cluster from today, following the recommendation of a formal interview panel.

Both PCTs will remain as independent statutory bodies and keep their own board and budget limits, pending the introduction of legislation proposed in the white paper

NHS East of England chief executive Sir Neil McKay said: “The move will enable the local NHS to reduce their management costs and direct more money to the front line. It will also help the local NHS plan for the creation of GP consortia.”

Mr Pike was appointed chief executive of NHS South East Essex on 31 August 2007. He took on the additional role of interim chief executive at NHS South West Essex in July 2010 following the secondment of Pam Court to the role of Essex transition lead chief executive.

NHS Mid Essex, NHS North East Essex and NHS West Essex announced similar cluster arrangements on 7 September. Interviews for the post of cluster chief executive took place last Monday. A formal announcement on the post has been delayed but is expected this week.