• NHS Improvement and NHS England to appoint interim chief commercial officer
  • Second recruitment process due to be launched for permanent appointment
  • Director of corporate services to leave this summer
  • Role makeup being changed to include innovation, medicines and specialised services

NHS Improvement and NHS England will launch a new search for a chief commercial officer after failing to recruit to the position.

An internal note to staff, seen by HSJ, confirmed the regulators had not filled the role, which was created as part of the two organisations merging.

NHS Improvement and NHS England will instead appoint an interim chief commercial officer, with more details around this due to be revealed later in April.

It comes three months after HSJ revealed staff at NHSI and NHSE warned the new management structure contained too many executive senior manager posts.

HSJ understands the role is also being revised to include some or all responsibility for specialised commissioning, commercial aspects of medicines, and innovation and life sciences. NHSE and I are changing their initially proposed national structure, including creating a chief operating officer role which will also formally be the NHSI chief executive. The post of NHS England deputy chief executive, currently responsible for specialised commissioning and held by Matthew Swindells, is being removed.

The second recruitment process for the vacancy will start “as soon as necessary approvals have been gained”, according to the briefing note. 

HSJ asked the regulators how many people were interviewed for the role, but the organisations declined to respond. 

Instead, a spokesman said the position was being “redesigned to reflect the new working environment” between NHSI and NHSE.

“We expect to begin the selection process shortly,” the spokesman added.

The briefing note also confirmed that Simon Corben, NHSI’s director of estates and facilities, will be director of estates for both organisations, while Natasha Kerrigan has been appointed deputy director of estates. 

But executive senior managers for “commercial capability” and “improvements, products, and services” have not been appointed yet.

The latter’s team will be managed by David Ashby on an interim basis. Mr Ashby is currently leading work on the Model Hospital software.

Meanwhile, HSJ has also learned that Michael Hyne, NHSI’s director of corporate services, is set to leave his position this summer.

His team, which includes NHSI’s procurement efficiency team, will move from NHSI’s operational productivity unit, which is being scrapped, into reporting to Mr Corben.

Updated at 4.13pm on 10 April after we received information that the role scope is being revised.