• Former social care minister and shadow health secretary Paul Burstow to chair Hertfordshire and West Essex STP
  • Will hold post part time for two years
  • Will continue in three other roles during tenure

A former health minister has been appointed as the chair of a Home Counties sustainability and transformation partnership.

Hertfordshire and West Essex STP has named Paul Burstow as its first independent chair.

Mr Burstow was the social care minister for the Department of Health and Social Care from May 2010 to September 2012. He was also shadow health secretary for two years from June 2003.

He will start his new role at the beginning of next month and will hold the position part time for two years.

During that time, he will also continue his chairmanships of Tavistock and Portman Foundation Trust and of the charity The Social Care Institute for Excellence. He will also maintain his part time role as the University of Birmingham’s professor of mental health public policy.

Mr Burstow said: “I’ve been following the progress of STPs up and down the country and I’ve been impressed by the commitment of Hertfordshire and west Essex NHS and local government to work together to put people and communities at the heart of new ways of delivering care and keeping them well. It is that drive that really attracted me to the role.”

The Hertfordshire and West Essex STP has had a turbulent leadership. Deborah Fielding has been the STP’s chief executive since January, and is the third person to hold the role since the STP was created.

Ms Fielding said of Mr Burstow’s appointment: “As independent chair, Paul will be responsible for holding the system to account and keeping our STP focused on the task in hand. He will also act as an ambassador for Hertfordshire and West Essex STP, building and enhancing relationships with a wide range of stakeholders locally, regionally and nationally.”

The STP is working towards becoming an integrated care system from as early as 1 April 2019. It has a high number of providers and commissioners in the region, with three acute trusts, three community and mental health trusts, and three commissioners. The troubled East of England ambulance trust is also part of the STP.

Mr Burstow’s appointment follows a competitive selection process and formal approval by NHS England yesterday. 

He served as a Liberal Democrat MP for Sutton and Cheam for 15 years until he lost his post in the 2015 general election.