Partnership appoints new NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB) Chair-Designate

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Cathy Elliott has been appointed new chair designate for the new NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board when it takes on statutory responsibilities as anticipated from April 2022.

Cathy comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience, which includes being the Unitary Board Chair of Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust and Co-chair of West Yorkshire and Harrogate Integrated Care System (ICS) Reference Group for Council Leaders and NHS Chairs – which is an advisory group for the ICS on the new health and care legislation proposals.

Ms Elliott said: ‘I am delighted to have been confirmed as Chair-Designate for the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board when it takes on statutory responsibilities from April 2022. West Yorkshire has an established track record of very strong system leadership and working across health and care, being held up as a leading national best practice example. It has a clear vision and strong ambitions to support people to have the best start in life, so they can live a long, happy and healthy one’.

‘The work to date in West Yorkshire is built on solid foundations, including already setting out our transformation priorities, in delivering a response to the pandemic in partnership, and in working with partners and communities to address extreme inequalities and variation in people’s life outcomes.  It is a privilege to have the opportunity to help steer the system in the further delivery of our ambitions to help improve the lives of everyone living and working across this great area. I am very much looking forward to working with West Yorkshire’s partners and communities’.

Cllr Tim Swift, Chair of West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Board and Leader of Calderdale Council said:  ‘We welcome the certainty that this announcement brings and look forward to continuing to work with Cathy, other colleagues and communities to make integrated care a reality for the people we collectively serve. We truly believe that her value-based leadership, collaborative approach, and her ability to put people’s views and experiences, including staff, at the heart of all we do will be a great asset to this important role in an already successful integrated care system.’

Richard Barker, North East and Yorkshire Regional Director for NHS England said: ‘The next stage of this process will be the confirmation of ICB lead designates, with this process expected to conclude later this year’.

‘The leaders of our ICSs will have a hugely important and challenging role working with all system partners to deliver excellent healthcare and improve the health of the communities we all serve’.

‘While getting our structures and governance right is crucial, integrated care is about practical, real improvements to care and population health’.

‘Cathy’s confirmation follows the Second Reading of the Health and Care Bill on Wednesday 14 July 2021. The Bill contains a series of measures which would formally establish Integrated Care Systems and give their governing bodies – including an NHS Integrated Care Board – a broader range of responsibilities, empowering them to better join up health and care, improve population health and reduce health inequalities’.

‘While it is not possible to pre-empt the decisions of Parliament, the Bill received a positive vote at Second Reading. This means there is a degree of confidence that the measures relating to ICSs will become law. In turn, that means the NHS locally, regionally, and nationally – alongside all partners – has a responsibility to prepare for when those measures are expected to come into effect, which is currently April 2022’.

A key element of this preparation is confirming who would be expected to take up senior roles for each NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB), starting with the Chair-Designates.

Following a robust process, NHS England and NHS Improvement have recommended, and the Secretary of State has agreed, that Ms Elliott should be NHS ICB Chair-Designate for West Yorkshire ready to take up the post from April 2022 should Parliament confirm the current plans. The next steps include appointing a CEO-Designate which we hope to confirm by November.

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