David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS, has appointed three top-level executives who could provide some of the skills of the outgoing Director General of NHS IT Richard Granger.
The appointments, to strengthen leadership at the Department of Health, could indicate that top management of the £12.4bn National Programme for IT [NPfIT] in the NHS is to become more diffuse.
The most notable appointment is that of Mark Britnell, one of the NHS’s most experienced NPfIT executives, who has been appointed Director General for Commissioning and System Management.
Last year Mark Britnell was Chief Executive of University Hospital Birmingham which installed a “Reference Solution Patient Administration System” from CSC, the main NPfIT local service provider with contracts worth about £3bn.
The President of CSC Europe, Guy Hains, met Britnell last year at the hospital.
CSC said in a promotional brochure that Britnell’s hospital was “at the forefront of the current transformation in the NHS”.
Mark Britnell was later appointed as Chief Executive of the South Central Strategic Health Authority and was lead Senior Responsible Owner of the NPfIT for the South of England.
He has worked closely with David Nicholson on plans to try and revive support for the NPfIT among the boards of directors of local trusts and strategic health authorities. Britnell was national Senior Responsible Owner of the NPfIT Local Ownership Programme [NLOP].
Nicholson’s new leadership team comprises:
– Commercial Director General: Chan Wheeler;
– Director General for Commissioning and System Management: Mark Britnell;
– Director General of Finance, Performance and Operations: David Flory;
Officials have told Computer Weekly that the new commercial director could take on responsibility for managing the NPfIT suppliers, a job done by Richard Granger.
David Nicholson hopes the new leadership team will enable the Department to:
– build strategic capacity and capability in commissioning and system management;
– strengthen the operational grip on finance and performance in the NHS;
– ensure effective clinical engagement.
Richard Granger remains on the Department of Health’s top table until he leaves this Autumn.