• Stephen Eames appointed part-time chair at Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership
  • Partnership currently leading on reviews of acute services

One of the country’s most experienced NHS leaders is being drafted in to take on a fourth senior role as independent chair of an under-pressure health and care partnership.

Stephen Eames will combine his existing three positions in Cumbria with another as part-time chair at the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership.

His appointment comes as the partnership leads on separate reviews of acute services covering two of the most challenged health systems in the country.

Officials said he brought experience “delivering on major change and service improvement initiatives across systems and key partners”.

As a leader of a current integrated care system, he would also help it move towards its goal of becoming an ICS before 2021, they said.

In his one-day-a-week role, he joins an executive group headed by Andrew Burnell, chief executive officer of the Hull-based community interest company City Health Care Partnership, following the departure last year of veteran NHS leader Simon Pleydell after 14 months.

Mr Burnell said Professor Eames would help HCV “continue its work in developing quality, safe and sustainable health and care services and further assist in augmenting our positive collaborative efforts across the partnership”.

HCV has overall charge of a review of services at Scarborough Hospital where a shortlist of potential service models is being drawn up following an initial assessment by consultants McKinsey.

It is also overseeing a review of hospital services on both banks of the Humber in Hull and northern Lincolnshire, where six specialties are currently facing in-depth reviews.

Hospital services in Scarborough and northern Lincolnshire run at a significant financial loss and relationships between local health leaders have historically been difficult.

Two years ago, HCV was among five Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships singled out by NHS England as “needs most improvement”.

Officials say Professor Eames will help “build on recent achievements” which included developing strong relationships between the 28 health and social care partners within the system that were leading to improvements in services.

“This is a key achievement as addressing the challenges in our local health and care system is a significant challenge and requires all of us to work together to make changes to our local services and how they are used,” they said.

Professor Eames, who has held NHS chief executive positions for 30 years and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s 2019 birthday honours, will continue as system lead for North Cumbria Integrated Health and Care System and chief executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals and Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust.