New leaders announced to help deliver the NHS Long Term Plan

A leading GP and one of England’s foremost health experts have been chosen to co-chair a new forum which will help oversee the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Following a nationally-advertised recruitment process, Dr Clare Gerada has been appointed as clinical chair, and Professor Sir Chris Ham as non-clinical chair, of the NHS Assembly.

Building on the collaborative approach to developing the NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January, the Assembly will bring together a range of individuals from across the health and care sectors at regular intervals to advise the Boards of NHS England and NHS Improvement on implementation of the improvements it outlined.

The Assembly will be formed of around fifty individuals, drawn from national and frontline clinical leaders, patient leaders, staff representatives, health and care system leaders and voluntary, community and social enterprise sector leaders, who will bring their experience, knowledge and links to wider networks to inform discussion and debate on the NHS’ work and priorities.

Dr Gerada has more than 35 years experience practising medicine, alongside leadership roles with the Royal College of General Practice, Department of Health and British Medical Association, and has been a driving force behind efforts to ensure NHS staff receive tailored mental and physical health support when they need it.

Sir Chris was chief executive of the Kings Fund think tank from 2010 to 2018, following 18 years as professor of health policy and management at the University of Birmingham, during which time he advised the Department of Health, World Health Organisation and World Bank among others.

As co-chairs, they will provide leadership to the group, ensuring its effectiveness and promoting the work of the assembly within the NHS and among wider partners, with the aim of seeking wider involvement from staff, patients and the public.

Lord David Prior, NHS England chair, said: “The Long Term Plan was drawn up by, and based on the contributions of, those who know the NHS best – staff, patients, the public and other health experts. The NHS Assembly provides a channel through which those voices can continue to be heard as we work towards delivering the ambitions that it sets out, and both Chris and Clare are exceptionally qualified to ensure that is the case.”

Baroness Dido Harding, NHS Improvement chair, said: “Like so many others do in so many different ways, Chris and Clare have dedicated their careers to the NHS, and care passionately about its future. I look forward to working with them and the rest of the Assembly members to ensure that our shared goals, as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, are met.”

Expressions of interest in becoming a member of the NHS Assembly close on 6 March 2019, with more details available on the NHS Long Term Plan website.

Those expressions of interest will be reviewed to ensure the Assembly benefits from a diversity of backgrounds as well as knowledge and experience of different parts of the health system, with appointments expected to be completed in early March.