Weekly updates and essential insight into the NHS in the South West, by Will Hazell

Farewell to Andrew Ridley

Andrew Ridley, NHS England’s regional director for the South, is moving on.

Mr Ridley, who took over the position in December 2014, will be taking over as chief executive of Central London Community Healthcare Trust come October.

The director for the South is responsible for the assurance of 50 clinical commissioning groups, as well as direct commissioning responsibilities for primary care and specialised care.

However, Mr Ridley’s departure will mean more than just a change in personnel at the top – NHS England had announced that it will split its southern region in two after he exits from the stage. It is yet to confirm where it will draw the new line through the South, but it’s thought it will mirror new NHS Improvement regional arrangements. Which can’t be a bad thing.

Funding for Devon success regime revealed

My colleague James Illman has found out how much money each of the three success regime programmes have been allocated.

Information released under the Freedom of Information Act indicates that the regime in Northern, Eastern and Western Devon was given £1.4m in 2015-16, and will receive a further £6m in 2016-17.

The £7.4m NEW Devon has received in total is the most of any success regime area – the Essex programme has been given £6.4m and Cumbria has received £6.2m.

Across the three areas, the funding has largely been spent on external support from consultants to help draw up plans, legal advice, and putting together core programmes consisting of a few senior managers.

NEW Devon spent the bulk of its 2015-16 funding on contracts from QI Consulting and Attain Commissioning Services, which involved developing analytical and planning work.

Half a million pounds has also been earmarked for communications and engagement over the next two years.

Former South Devon chief pleads not guilty to fraud charges

Last week Paula Vasco-Knight, the former chief executive of Torbay and South Devon Healthcare Foundation Trust, pleaded not guilty to three counts of fraud.

Ms Vasco-Knight pleaded not guilty to three separate counts of fraud at Exeter Crown Court last Friday.

The charges relate to a period between October 2012 and August 2013.

The case has been adjourned until 23 January 2017.

Deep South

Deep South is HSJ’s email briefing on the NHS in the South West of England.

It takes an in-depth weekly look at a region which is one of the NHS’s most innovative, but also one of its most turbulent. The patch includes the cities of Bristol and Bath, through Wessex and Dorset, and all the way down the peninsular to Lizard Point.

Please get in touch with any suggestions about what you’d like to see covered and any story tips: will.hazell@emap.com