Monitor chair appointed

 Dr David Bennett has been appointed the chair of Monitor.

The existing interim Chief Executive was chosen by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and will oversee the organisation’s switch to the economic regulator of the NHS.

Andrew Lansley said he was “delighted” to appointment Mr Bennett and he is confident he will “lead the organisation through the changes ahead”.

Dr Bennett replaces Steve Bundred, who has held the position since Many 2010.

He has been interim Chief Executive since March 2010, and was previously non-political chief policy adviser to Tony Blair and head of the policy directorate and strategy unit under Mr Blair.

“After nearly 12 months as interim chief executive at Monitor I am delighted that the Health Secretary has asked me to take on the role of chair,” said Dr Bennett.

“The successful implementation of this next phase of reform for health and adult social care, if agreed by Parliament, will be critical to ensuring that the sector can continue to provide affordable, high quality care, and Monitor will play a central role in making sure this is so.

“I have been greatly impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the many colleagues I have worked with over this last year, both inside Monitor and beyond, and I look forward to continuing our partnership as we embark on this exciting and undoubtedly challenging next phase.”

Current chair Steve Bundred said in a separate statement that Monitor will have the benefit of Dr Bennett’s “expertise and understanding of the health sector” and the two are working on the transition to new leadership, including appointing a permanent chief executive.