NHS England has announced a slew of senior appointments to strengthen its work on the better care fund and its five year plan.

As reported by HSJ yesterday, the Department of Health’s current policy director Ian Dodge has been appointed the director of commissioning strategy. He will take up his new post on Monday.

At the organisation’s board meeting yesterday, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens described Mr Dodge as the “successor to Bill McCarthy”, its former policy director.

The secondment of Andrew Ridley, managing director of North and East London Commissioning Support Unit, as programme director for the better care fund was also announced.

He will lead a small team of officials from NHS England, the DH, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Local Government Association.

Mahiben Maruthappu, an academic foundation doctor at Imperial College London, has been appointed to the chief executive’s office.

He will be the “the first of a new breed of clinical and managerial fellows from the frontline of the NHS, getting experience for the strategic and operational decision making at a senior level”, Mr Stevens said.

Health Education England’s director of strategy and planning Jo Lenaghan will be seconded to NHS England for four months on a part time basis as project director for the NHS five year “forward view” programme.

She will continue in her HEE role during this time.

Mr Stevens said he was “very pleased” with the new appointments and that they would “add great value to the organisation”.

“We are now clear about the changes that we have been making…  to our national directorate structure, and are in the process of discussing with our regions and our area teams what the best way of ensuring smoother working practices and there,” he said.

Mr Stevens said NHS England was now “in conversation with a range of national partners” about some functions it “initially was asked to take on”, but which “now is felt more appropriately belong elsewhere in the health system”.

Earlier in the meeting, NHS England chair Malcolm Grant announced three new non-executive directors to the board.

They are:

  • Newcastle based clinical geneticist and academic Sir John Burn;
  • Noel Gordon, who has a background in consultancy; and
  • David Roberts, former deputy chair of Lloyds Banking Group, who was recently appointed as the next chair of the Nationwide Building Society.