• New Kent and Medway CCG set to appoint accountable officer
  • Wilf Williams has worked for KPMG in Australia since 2006
  • Kent and Medway CCG will cover 1.8m people

A director at KPMG is set to take over as the accountable officer for the single clinical commissioning group due to be formed in Kent and Medway, which will be the largest outside London.

Wilf Williams is expected to take over from Glenn Douglas when the eight existing CCGs merge on 1 April. It is thought he will also serve as the sustainability and transformation partnership leader.

The appointment, due to be rubber-stamped by CCG leaders this month, has been recommended by the current CCGs’ remuneration committees, according to a paper for Thanet CCG’s board meeting this week.

Mr Williams will be paid £175,000 a year and have some expenses met for his relocation from Australia. HSJ understands he is also expected to be the system leader for the Kent and Medway Strategic Commissioning Partnership.

The single CCG, which has been approved in principle by NHS England, will cover a population of more than 1.8 million — the largest in terms of population outside London.

Mr Williams has been director of national health and human services practice for KPMG in Australia, having worked there since March 2006.

He entered the NHS through the graduate management scheme in 1988 and later went on to work in Kent, as chief executive of first the Canterbury and Coastal Primary Care Group and then the patch’s primary care trust.

A report to the current CCGs’ governing bodies says that Mr Williams’ appointment has been recommended by the CCGs’ remuneration committees and praises Mr Williams as a “smart and innovative leader”.

He is expected to return to the UK in time to shadow Mr Douglas, who is retiring, before formally taking over on 1 April.

Mr Williams said in a statement: “Returning to the NHS in Kent & Medway, where I enjoyed many rewarding years earlier in my career, is both a thrill and a privilege.

“I am joining at a time of great opportunity with the merger of the CCGs, and the NHS moves into a new era of collaboration as we focus together on helping local people live their best life.”

The Kent and Medway system faces a number of significant challenges, including the need to steer through a controversial reconfiguration of emergency and specialist services in East Kent and to deal with failures in care at East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust.

The four acute trusts are planning to move towards a single pathology services, and will need to make decisions on where services are situated, and the STP as a whole needs to start to reduce its deficit which ran at £154.4m in 2018-19, mainly due to issues in East Kent. The planned deficit for 2019-20 without sustainability funding is £153m.

27 January 2.30pm: Comment from Mr Williams added.

Updated at 10:55am on 28 January to correct typo