Partnership appoints integrated care system CEO-designate

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Rob Webster has been appointed new CEO-designate for West Yorkshire Integrated Care System (ICS).

The announcement follows an open and robust partner and stakeholder recruitment process with NHS England and NHS Improvement recommending that he should be CEO-Designate for West Yorkshire ICS, ready to take up the post from April 2022 should Parliament confirm the current plans.

Rob comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience nationally and locally. He has been the lead CEO for the West Yorkshire ICS since March 2016, which he has carried out successfully alongside his role as Chief Executive for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

His ICS role has involved working together with health and care leaders, organisations, and communities to deliver ambitious plans for improved health, care, and wellbeing, including those set out in the ICS’s Five-Year Plan. Crucially, he has played a lead role in ensuring services have been maintained and staff and citizens supported throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rob Webster CBE said: ‘It’s a privilege to have been confirmed as CEO-Designate for the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership and our Integrated Care System. Our work in West Yorkshire in the coming years will be built upon an established track record of strong system leadership and working across health and care with our communities. I am in no doubt that this will be a period of significant challenge for all of us, as well as a significant opportunity. Together, we can make meaningful and lasting improvements that improve outcomes for all, whoever we are and wherever we live’.

Cathy Elliott, Chair-Designate for the NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board said: ‘This important appointment is great news for us all. With a strong focus on distributed leadership, Rob firmly believes in the power of the NHS, councils, Healthwatch, hospices, the voluntary community social enterprise sector and communities being equal partners at a local and system level for better joined up care for people, delivered locally. An ethos which will continue to move us forward into the future together. I’m very much looking forward to working with Rob for and with our West Yorkshire partners.’

 Cllr Swift, 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 Rob, to make integrated care a reality for the people we collectively serve. Supporting colleagues across all partner sectors, preventing ill health, and tackling health inequalities for everyone, so that no matter where people live or work, to deliver and receive the best quality of care possible, are amongst his key priorities – ones I very much welcome’.

Richard Barker North East and Yorkshire Regional Director for NHS England said: ‘The leaders of our integrated care systems (ICS) have a vital role working with all system partners to deliver excellent care and improve the health of the communities we support. Getting our leadership structures and governance right is important but integrated care is about practical, real improvements for local populations and the ICSs are uniquely placed to more this forward in bold and innovative ways.’

Rob‘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 ICSs 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.

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