Just nine out of the 23 managing director posts for commissioning support services have been recruited, it is announced today.

The appointments have been confirmed two weeks after the NHS Commissioning Board’s director of commissioning development Dame Barbara Hakin revealed to HSJ that there would need to be a second recruitment round due to a lack of interest from primary care trust chiefs.

Eight of the successful recruits have been appointed to CSSs they were already running on an interim basis.

These are:

  • Robert Bacon - Birmingham, Black Country and Solihull Commissioning Support Service
  • Stephen Childs - North East Commissioning Support
  • Keith Douglas - Commissioning Support South
  • Jan Hull - Best West Commissioning Support
  • Derek Kitchen - Staffordshire Commissioning Support Service
  • Rachel Pearce - Arden Commissioning Support Service
  • Andrew Ridley - North Central and East London Commissioning Support Service
  • Sarah Whiting - North West London Commissioning Support Service.

The ninth recruit is Ming Tang, although it has not yet been decided which CSS she will run. Ms Tang had worked on commissioning support in the West Midlands, and more recently was seconded to the NHS Commissioning Board to direct its business intelligence programme.

Discussions are understood to be ongoing with a “small number” of other potential candidates.

The second round of CSS managing director interviews will last until the end of July.

Dame Barbara said that although CSSs will eventually have to compete in a marketplace, the selection process did not emphasise commercial acumen.

“The commercial world is something people can learn [or] have in parts of their team,” she said.

“What the interview panels were much more concerned about was these people have gravitas – that they were senior enough leaders to create an organisation of this magnitude from scratch – which means they have to be remarkably good at managing and inspiring staff – and they understood the nature of the businesses dependence on their customers and that they could manage customers.”