The NHS Commissioning Board Authority (NHSCBA) has appointed the first 16 local area team (LAT) directors.
Six positions in the North, a further six in Midlands and East, three in the South and one in London have been filled during the first round of recruitment.
Ian Dalton, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority, was “delighted” that “key appointments to such important leadership posts” were filled.
In total, there will be 27 local area teams – but London will have an integrated structure with one director controlling three LATs to reflect the “distinct nature” of the capital. The NHSBA hopes to complete the recruitment process “shortly”.
Appointments include Chris Long, current Chief Executive of NHS North Yorkshire and York PCT Cluster and NHS Humberside PCT Cluster, for North Yorkshire and Humber LAT in the north.
Wendy Saviour, Director of Partnerships at the NHSCBA, will lead Birmingham and Black Country in Midlands and East; Simon Weldon has been appointed to head the London LAT; and Debbie Fleming, SHIP PCT Cluster Chief Executive, will oversee Wessex.
LATs will have the same core functions around CCG development and assurance, emergency planning, resilience and response, quality and safety, configuration, system oversight and partnership and stakeholder engagement.
Senior leaders of LATs will also join health and wellbeing boards as partners.
Teams will also be responsible for commissioning GP services, dental services, pharmacy and certain optical services. Ten LATs will lead specialised commissioning, with a handful also commissioning other services such as military and prison health.
“This puts us in a position to quickly develop the local presence of the NHS Commissioning Board, building strong relationships with our partners and communities to firmly focus on driving improvement for our patients,” said Ian Dalton.