The four consolidated boards, which mirror the cluster management arrangements already in place at NHS North of Tyne, NHS South of Tyne and Wear, NHS County Durham and Darlington and NHS Tees, will ensure effective governance and accountability during the transition to full GP commissioning in 2013.
The consolidated boards will meet to discuss the main business of their respective PCTs and will be chaired as follows:
• Gina Tiller - NHS North of Tyne (covering Newcastle PCT, North Tyneside PCT and Northumberland Care
• Stephen Clark - NHS South of Tyne and Wear (covering Gateshead PCT, South Tyneside PCT and
• Lady Ann Calman - NHS County Durham and Darlington (covering County Durham PCT and Darlington PCT)
• Steve Wallace - NHS Tees (covering Hartlepool PCT, Middlesbrough PCT, Redcar and Cleveland PCT and
Other existing PCT chairs will become members of the four consolidated boards to form the core membership alongside non-executive directors from each PCT. The 12 existing boards will meet only as statutorily required for one annual general meeting until 2013.
The new consolidated boards will help co-ordinate work across the region during this time of significant change, ensure ongoing engagement with key stakeholders and avoid duplication of work as the new system for GP commissioning is developed.
Sir Peter Carr, chairman of NHS North East, said: “It is important that we have appropriate governance and accountability during a period of such significant change. The four consolidated boards will help ensure a smooth transition as we move towards the formation of the new national NHS Commissioning Board and as GP consortia emerge.
“I would like to thank all PCT chairs for working so quickly and effectively to determine the new chairmanship of the consolidated PCT boards within the four clusters.”
Gina Tiller, a former nurse, who has been chair of Newcastle PCT since it was formed ten years ago, said: “I am very pleased to have been asked to take on this role during a period of major change for the NHS, as we move towards the transfer of many of the responsibilities of primary care trusts to GP consortia.
“It will be more important than ever to have strong relationships across all partner organisations to make sure that local people continue to receive the high quality care they deserve and also that we look for opportunities to improve care wherever possible.”
Stephen Clark, chair of NHS South of Tyne and Wear said: "It is an honour to be appointed as chair of NHS South of Tyne and Wear. This is a period of significant change but our focus remains the same – to improve the health of our local communities and ensure excellent patient care through the wise and effective use of public money."
Lady Ann Calman, chair of NHS County Durham and Darlington said: “I look forward to taking on the role of chair of the NHS County Durham and Darlington joint board and to playing my part helping support both PCT and clinical colleagues through the challenges ahead.
“Through our GP led pathfinder in County Durham and Darlington, we will continue to develop health services so they are shaped around the needs of the people who use them. Our communities are key partners in our mission to improve the health status of our population, so working with them will be an essential part of our work.”
Steve Wallace, chair of NHS Tees said: “I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead as NHS Tees assists GPs in taking over responsibility for local healthcare services. It is vital for patients that the transition works smoothly, and my priority is to ensure this across all four PCT areas in Teesside while maintaining a close focus on performance and budgets.
“We are already working in cooperation with GPs and I am confident that the new GP consortia serving our communities will be well placed to take the NHS forward from 2013.”
NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson issued guidance yesterday to support the establishment of PCT clusters across England by June 2011.
The north east was highlighted as an ‘invaluable source of learning to colleagues in the rest of the country’, with PCTs in the region having already operated in cluster arrangements for a number of years.
Liz Davies – senior communications officer
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