Dr Sarah Wollaston has been appointed chair of the Integrated Care System for Devon (ICSD) for the next 12 months.
Dr Wollaston, a practising GP in Devon, was MP for Totnes from 2010 to 2019, during which time she served as chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee in the Commons for five years.
Dr Wollaston succeeds Dame Suzi Leather, who has chaired the Devon health and care system since 2018.
Dame Suzi had announced that she would not be seeking further office as the chair of the ICS for Devon. However, she agreed to continue in the role for a short period after a national recruitment process run earlier in the year did not appoint to the position of Chair Designate for Devon’s new Integrated Care Board (ICB).
Dame Suzi said: “Sarah’s appointment is very good news for patients, carers and everyone working in health and social care in Devon. Sarah comes with a professional lifetime’s experience as a GP, which, combined, with her time as a local MP, including chairing the House of Commons Health Select Committee, makes her a knowledgeable, experienced leader with a reputation commensurate with the ICS chair role.”
Dr Wollaston, who lives in South Devon, has worked in hospital and primary care settings and returned to clinical practice during the pandemic as a GP and to help with the COVID vaccination programme. She was recently awarded an honorary fellowship with the Royal Society of Medicine in recognition of her work in public health and scrutiny of health policy.
Dr Wollaston, who takes up the role on 1 December 2021, said: “I am really looking forward to joining the Integrated Care System for Devon as interim chair.
“I would like to thank Dame Suzi for her exceptional work in establishing and maintaining solid partnerships across our health and care system and for her tireless dedication to improving the health, care and wellbeing of people in Devon.
“I would also like to thank everyone in our health and care services for their unstinting commitment, hard work and resilience. I have seen from my own frontline experience through the pandemic that the pressures are intense and that there is a long road ahead.
“Our ICS will play an important role in helping Devon’s health and care system to recover from the impact of the pandemic and in serving our communities by planning future services. I’m aware the system faces significant challenges, and only by working together and sharing our collective expertise and resources will we successfully rise to those challenges.”
Chief executive officer of Integrated Care System for Devon formally appointed
Jane Milligan has been formally appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer for the new Integrated Care System for Devon (ICSD), when it officially comes into being from 1 April 2022.
Following a rigorous national process for all new ICS Chief Executive Officer posts, NHS England has now approved Jane in this role. Jane joined the Devon system in April 2021, having previously worked in north east London.
Dame Suzi Leather, chair, said: “Jane was appointed further to an exacting recruitment process and she shone out. She has not been back in Devon long but has already proved that she is an extremely high performing leader who engages with the pressing tasks at hand in an inclusive, impactful way while working relentlessly towards our vision of equal chances for everyone in Devon to lead long, happy, and healthy lives.”
Jane, who has worked for the NHS for 33 years and has extensive experience at a senior level, added: “I have really enjoyed my return to Devon and am very much looking forward to leading our new Integrated Care System from April 2022.
“By working together, health and care partners across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay have already made good progress in many important areas in recent years. This is a good foundation to enable us to tackle the very real challenges we face in Devon to improve services, financial efficiency and enhance the health and well-being of our Devon population.”
Dame Suzi Leather
Dame Suzi Leather, who became independent chair of the then Devon Sustainability and Transformation Partnership in in 2018, is stepping down from the role of chair of the Integrated Care System for Devon.
Cllr John Hart, leader of Devon County Council, one of the partners in the Integrated Care System for Devon, said: “Dame Suzi has worked with inspirational passion and enthusiasm to forge closer partnerships between Devon’s health and care organisations, especially through the Covid-19 pandemic.
“She leads by example and always has the best interests of people in Devon at heart. She has been a champion for tackling inequality of every kind, preventing ill-health and focusing on high quality services. On behalf of all the partners in the Integrated Care System for Devon, I would like to thank her for her leadership, expertise and dedication and we wish her all the very best for the future.”
Dame Suzi said: “I have worked hard to bring health and care together over the last few years and feel that they are better integrated now than ever before. Working alongside Jane Milligan, the newly confirmed CEO for the ICS for Devon, Sarah Wollaston’s appointment and the new status of the ICS as a statutory body will give Sarah and Jane the opportunity to take this collaboration to a whole new level.”