NHS England and Improvement has appointed Sir James Mackey as an elective recovery adviser.
Sir James is currently chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and will spend two days a week with a focus to help address the elective backlog.
Sir James Mackey, NHS England and NHS Improvement elective recovery adviser, said: “NHS staff have done a great job of dealing with COVID and now face a daunting task as we seek to help patients who have put off seeking help or had care disrupted.
“However, the NHS COVID vaccination programme, the biggest and most successful in our history, shows that the health service can mobilise together to tackle some of the biggest challenges when the investment is available to do so.
“I look forward to working with colleagues at NHS England and NHS Improvement to ensure this additional investment to tackle elective backlogs is utilised to help as many patients as possible.”
Sir James previously led the inception of NHS Improvement and headed the organisation for a two year period.
NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard, commented: “NHS staff have responded magnificently to the COVID pandemic, from rapidly developing safe ways of delivering care to doubling critical care capacity and, of course, successfully rolling out the NHS vaccination programme.
“Caring for more than 450,000 people with COVID in hospital has inevitably disrupted treatment for less urgent cases and many patients put off coming forward for help during the waves of infections.
“But staff have been pulling out all the stops to restore services and address the backlogs that have inevitably built up and the NHS now has welcome certainty over funding for the rest of this year.
“Sir James, who is respected across the health service, will use his skills and experience to help ensure that the NHS does everything in its power to deliver maximum patient benefit in return and continues to make best possible use of taxpayers’ cash.”