News / ICB chief finance officers gear up for July launch

30 May 2022 Seamus Ward

Login to access this content

Sam.Simpson.pAs Healthcare Finance went to press, 27 of the 42 ICBs had confirmed their lead finance director, though others may have made an offer that has not yet been announced.

The appointments are as designate CFOs until 1 July, when ICBs become statutory bodies following the passing of the Health and Care Act. Under the NHS England and NHS Improvement integrated care system design framework, finance directors are one of only four executives generally required – the others being chief executive, medical director and nursing director.

Some ICBs are more developed than others, though most had appointed a chief executive and chair before the end of 2021. Executive directors, including designate CFOs, cannot be hired before a chief executive is in place.

The North West region has the fewest ICBs, with three covering Cheshire and Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and Lancashire and South Cumbria. All three have appointed designate CFOs – Claire Wilson, Sam Simpson (pictured above), and Sam Proffitt, respectively.

The Midlands has 11 ICBs, with five CFOs yet to be announced. Appointed finance directors include Paul Athey at Birmingham and Solihull ICB and Tom Jackson (pictured) at the Black Country ICB.news_tomJackson_portrait

Unsurprisingly, many of the new system finance leads have been recruited from predecessor clinical commissioning groups, with 16 appointed from CCGs so far. Over the past two years, many CCGs have reorganised governance arrangements to align with the likely ICB area.

Single boards and management teams were introduced, and CFOs appointed. In some cases, the CFOs have been appointed to the new boards, although a number of provider finance directors have also made the switch to ICB finance. These include Ms Wilson and Ms Simpson in the North West, and Steven Course at Norfolk and Waveney ICB.

The three London ICBs that have announced their CFOs have also drawn their designate finance leaders from provider trusts. Nationally, a small number have moved from a regional office of NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Ivor Duffy, chief finance officer designate at Kent and Medway ICB, is joining from Kent and Medway CCG. He said of his appointment: ‘It is really exciting to be part of a leadership team that wants to shape and improve health services and outcomes for the benefit of people across Kent and Medway.

‘I am also looking forward to the greater opportunity this new role brings for working across organisational boundaries in health, social care and the third sector.’

Steven Course, chief finance officer and deputy chief executive at East London NHS Foundation Trust, spoke of his delight at being appointed director of finance designate at Norfolk and Waveney ICB.

‘Throughout my career, I have been committed to putting the patient first, tackling equality and diversity and improving quality,’ he said. ‘I firmly believe that we have a real opportunity to deliver on these agendas, and more, with effective collaboration across health and care services.

‘I am confident that the passion, energy and determination we have in Norfolk and Waveney will ensure we succeed, helping to improve the lives of [local] people.’

Mr Jackson said: ‘This is a unique opportunity to shape the local provision of health and care – to reduce health inequalities not only in the Black Country but also to close the gap on inequalities locally compared with those across the rest of the country.

‘I look forward to supporting transformation and innovation by focusing resources on areas with the greatest impact on the health outcomes of our people.’