Ian Smith, Chair-designate of the Surrey Heartlands NHS Integrated Care BoardAs health and care systems across the country prepare for new legislative changes expected from April 2022, Ian Smith has been confirmed as the new Chair-designate for Surrey Heartlands. He has been appointed following a comprehensive recruitment process led by NHS England and NHS Improvement and endorsed by the Secretary of State for Health.

The Health and Care Bill 2021 contains measures to formally establish Integrated Care Systems, putting them on a firm statutory footing, empowering them to better join up health and care, improve population health and reduce health inequalities. As part of the proposed changes, each health and care system will establish a new NHS body – the Integrated Care Board – which will hold a substantial budget for commissioning and ensuring delivery of high-quality patient care. These new NHS bodies will take on many of the existing functions of current Clinical Commissioning Groups (who will be dissolved as part of the new legislation).

A key element of preparing for these changes is confirmation of who will take up the most senior roles within each new NHS body starting with the ICB Chair-designate.

Ian Smith will take up the post from April 2022, subject to final legislative changes. On his appointment to Surrey Heartlands, Ian said:

“I am delighted to be taking up the role of Chair-designate of the Surrey Heartlands NHS Integrated Care Board. Integrated Care Systems – and Integrated Care Boards within them – are the key to better integrating health and social care so that patients are put at the centre of care and clinical delivery. Improving patient outcomes is a core purpose of Integrated Systems and Boards and this will be hugely motivating for me and my colleagues. They will also be key to addressing the health inequalities that exist in our country and which have been cruelly exposed in the Covid pandemic. I couldn’t think of a more challenging and engaging purpose than being part of a team that improves patient outcomes and reduces health inequalities in Surrey Heartlands.”

With a career spanning healthcare, publishing, construction, strategy consulting and logistics, Ian has over 40 years’ experience leading highly complex multinational companies including a number of chief executive roles. Previously Executive Chairman of Four Seasons Health Care and Chief Executive of the General Healthcare Group, he has an in-depth knowledge of the healthcare system and patient needs, particularly in terms of acute, psychiatric and elderly care. Ian was also Chair of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from 2017 – 2019 and is currently a Non-executive Director at the Ministry of Defence.

Anne Eden, South East Regional Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement, adds: “Ian will have a hugely important role and has been appointed following a robust process where he was among some excellent candidates. He and others will drive improved services for patients and better population health and deliver long- term local strategies and priorities into next year and beyond including the vaccine roll-out, elective recovery and addressing health inequalities.”

 

The next step is to recruit the Chief Executive designates for all 42 new NHS bodies across the country, and more information will be announced on this in due course.