Professor Claire Fuller announced as new Chief Executive-designate for Surrey Heartlands NHS Integrated Care Board

As health and care systems across the country prepare for new legislative changes expected from April 2022, Professor Claire Fuller has been confirmed as the new Chief Executive-designate for NHS Surrey Heartlands.  Claire, who is currently the Senior Responsible Officer for the Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership and Interim Accountable Officer at NHS Surrey Heartlands CCG, has been appointed following a comprehensive recruitment process led by NHS England/Improvement and endorsed by the NHS Chief Executive.

The Health and Care Bill 2021 will put Integrated Care Systems 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 (which will be dissolved as part of the new legislation). 

Ian Smith, who was appointed Chair-designate of NHS Surrey Heartlands (Integrated Care Board) in October, said:

“I am delighted to confirm Professor Claire Fuller’s appointment as Chief Executive-designate of the new Integrated Care Board.  Surrey Heartlands has an impressive record of integration and patient-centred care under Claire’s stewardship, and I am looking forward to working with her as we continue our journey to improve health outcomes for local people. I know Claire is passionate about patient care and in working collectively with partners to tackle the inequalities that exist for many of our communities.  Our next job will be to recruit the rest of the Board so we are fully prepared for April 2022.”

On her appointment Claire said:

“It’s a real privilege to be given this opportunity to continue my leadership role across Surrey Heartlands.  Although Surrey is one of the healthiest places to live in England there is still a 12-year gap in life expectancy depending on where you live.  As a local GP, living and working in Surrey, I am passionate about closing this gap and working with partners to collectively tackle the wider impacts on health such as housing, poor air quality and so on which contribute to these inequalities. We already have a strong partnership in Surrey and these changes will empower us to better join up health and care and work together to continue to improve the health of our local population. I’d like to thank partners for all their support and their continued hard work and am looking forward to developing our partnership further over the coming months and years.”

The next steps will be to recruit Non-Executive Members and Executive Directors to the Integrated Care Board over the coming weeks and more information will be announced in due course.


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