Military chief appointed to lead 'far-reaching' review of NHS leadership 1 month ago

Military chief appointed to lead 'far-reaching' review of NHS leadership

Sajid Javid has said he wants the most far-reaching review of NHS bosses in decades.

The Conservative Party have announced a major review into NHS leadership in England on the eve of their party conference in Manchester, appointing a former military chief to lead the shake-up.


Former vice-chief of the defence staff General Sir Gordon Messenger has been tasked with leading the review, which Health Secretary Sajid Javid wants to be the most extensive review into NHS bosses in 40 years.

But there is anger amongst some bosses about what they see as a move to shift the blame for the NHS's failings on to trust and hospital leaders.

According to the Guardian, Messenger will be asked to look at the best hospitals, GP services and social care delivery to establish how their work can be replicated across England.

He was vice-chief of the defence staff from 2016 to 2019 and worked as head of operations for the community testing programme. The Tories have said he will have a team of officials from the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS. This team will be led by Dame Linda Pollard, the chair of Leeds teaching hospital.

Tory sources have said the review is about "identifying the best leadership, finding out why it’s so good and looking at how we roll it out more widely."

But one NHS chief has said that it is hard not to see the review as "an attack" and that it will go down "really badly, like a vat of cold sick."


Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation said that there should also be a review into the "context in which our leaders are operating," adding that the current environment bosses are working in is "among the most fraught that NHS leaders have experienced and this review will need to support, not hinder, their progress."

In his announcement, Sajid Javid said: "We are committed to providing the resources health and social care needs but that must come with change for the better.

"This review will shine a light on the outstanding leaders in health and social care to drive efficiency and innovation. It will help make sure individuals and families get the care and treatment they need, wherever they are in the country, as we build back better."

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