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Professor Sir Liam Donaldson confirmed as chair designate for Integrated Care Board for the North East and North Cumbria

NHS England/Improvement have confirmed that Professor Sir Liam Donaldson will be chair-designate for the Integrated Care Board for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS).

Professor Sir Liam Donaldson is currently chair of the ICS and was appointed in December 2020. He will take up the post of ‘chair designate’ for the Board from April 2022, should Parliament confirm the current plans for ICSs to become statutory organisations.   

Welcoming the decision Alan Foster, executive lead for the ICS said: “I would like to thank Liam for his commitment and leadership to date. Liam has a wealth of experience and knowledge, from his time as Regional Director of the former Northern Regional Health Authority, his role as the country’s Chief Medical Officer and his advisory role to the World Health Organisation. He is passionate about working with local authority colleagues to reduce the burden of premature death and preventable disease and the longstanding health inequalities that affect many parts of the region. He also shares the commitment of all staff working in these vital public services to do everything possible to deliver safe high quality care appropriate and accessible to everyone who needs it. We welcome this decision and the certainty that this also brings as we continue on our journey to deliver our shared ambition to improve health and care for our communities.”

Chair of the ICS, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, said: “It’s a privilege to be asked to continue in this important role for the Integrated Care System in the North East and North Cumbria. On a personal note I have a deep attachment to this region, so I am delighted.

“It’s clear from all my conversations over recent months that there is wholehearted commitment to improve health in our communities alongside a ‘can-do’ attitude to make a real difference to the health of people living and working in North East and North Cumbria. By working together - as a system - we are building on the strong history of joint working and the excellent care provided in the region.  We will work tirelessly to tackle the things that matter to our communities such as the longstanding health inequalities,  supporting people to live healthier lives, and meeting the highest standards of care for all our patients.” 

Professor Sir Liam Donaldson is recognised as an international champion of healthcare quality, patient safety and public health. He is a former vice-chairman of the World Health Organisation’s executive board. He is the World Health Organisation’s envoy for patient safety and chairman of the independent monitoring board for the Polio Eradication Programme.

Sir Liam was previously the chief medical officer for England, and the United Kingdom’s chief medical adviser, from 1998-2010, the longest serving in modern times. During this time, he held critical responsibilities across the whole field of public health and healthcare and advised secretaries of state for health, the prime minister and other government ministers. He produced landmark reports that set health policy and legislation in many fields, notably the country’s decision to introduce smoke-free public places and workplaces.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he was regional director of public health and regional general manager of the former northern regional health authority. He was chancellor of Newcastle University for 10 years, stepping down from that post in 2019.


For more information visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/integratedcare/ics-independent-chairs/

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