Reform critic appointed to NHS CB

 A Birmingham GP who called the NHS reform plans “unworkable” is one of two clinicians newly appointed to the Medical Directorate of the NHS Commissioning Board.

Professor Steve Field (pictured), who as Chair of the NHS Future Forum argued that the Government’s plans for hospital competition would destabilise the NHS, has been appointed Deputy National Medical Director (Health Inequalities).

Like Business Secretary Vince Cable in the Government, Field is a policy sceptic who has been kept ‘inside’ by the leadership to provide a more critical dynamic.

Field, who is Chair of the DH’s National Inclusion Health Board, will lead the NHS CB’s work to reduce health inequalities.

Professor Keith Willett, the current National Clinical Director for Trauma Care, has been appointed Director for Acute Episodes of Care with responsibility for Domain 3 of the NHS Outcomes Framework (“helping people to recover from episodes of ill health or following injury”).

Willett, who has been an orthopaedic trauma surgeon in Oxford, will lead the Board’s work to assist rapid recovery from illness or injury.

The NHS Commissioning Board Authority’s National Medical Director, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, said that both recruits “have a strong track record of leadership and innovation which will be of enormous benefit to the NHS”.