New Chair-designate appointed for Surrey Heartlands ICS board

Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS) has announced the appointment of its new Chair-designate.

Ian Smith will take on the role, following what the ICS refers to as a “comprehensive recruitment process” that was led by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

According to a statement by Surrey Heartlands, Smith has over 40 years of experience leading “complex multinational companies” and previous positions include a number of chief executive roles.

A former Executive Chairman of Four Seasons Health Care and Chief Executive of the General Healthcare Group, Smith was also Chair of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from 2017 – 2019 and is currently a Non-executive Director at the Ministry of Defence.

Also endorsed by the Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, Smith will take up the post from April 2022, “subject to final legislative changes”.

Explaining that the “Health and Care Bill 2021 contains measures to formally establish Integrated Care Systems, putting them on a firm statutory footing”, Surrey Heartlands says that, “as part of the proposed changes, each health and care system will establish a new NHS body – the Integrated Care Board.”

It is within the new Integrated Care Board (ICB) in Surrey that Smith’s role will sit. The board will “hold a substantial budget for commissioning and ensuring delivery of high-quality patient care” and the new NHS bodies will also “take on many of the existing functions of current Clinical Commissioning Groups (who will be dissolved as part of the new legislation).”

On his appointment, Smith said: “I am delighted to be taking up the role of Chair-designate of the Surrey Heartlands NHS Integrated Care Board. Integrated Care Systems – and Integrated Care Boards within them – are the key to better integrating health and social care so that patients are put at the centre of care and clinical delivery.

“I couldn’t think of a more challenging and engaging purpose than being part of a team that improves patient outcomes and reduces health inequalities in Surrey Heartlands.”

Anne Eden, South East Regional Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement, added: “Ian will have a hugely important role and has been appointed following a robust process where he was among some excellent candidates. He and others will drive improved services for patients and better population health and deliver long- term local strategies and priorities into next year and beyond including the vaccine roll-out, elective recovery and addressing health inequalities.”

As per Surrey Heartlands, it is also expected that new Chief Executive designates will be announced for all 42 new NHS bodies across the country “in due course”.