MiP calls for open competition for Stevens's successor
Responding to the announcement that Simon Stevens will be standing down as head of NHS England, MiP chief executive Jon Restell said:
“Sir Simon has been a good servant of the NHS. He used considerable political skill to lift money from the reluctant hands of politicians practising austerity. He has also ably set a strategy for integration and place-based planning of health and care services, which commands support across the political spectrum – and within the NHS itself.
“The government must appoint Sir Simon’s successor through an open, competitive public service appointment process. The public do not want the head of the NHS to be a largely political appointment.
“The post of NHS England chief executive is one of the biggest jobs in public service, responsible for over a million staff and a budget of more than £150 billion. The NHS is massively important to the public and has huge social and economic significance. Running it requires considerable leadership skill, health service experience and managerial expertise.
“For this job, we need to find and test the most qualified candidates in a global and diverse field. The NHS strives for best practice in its recruitment practices and this should start at the top. In the current climate of concern about public service appointments, the new chief executive will need the authority and credibility that can only come from an open competition."