Northamptonshire’s transition to statutory Integrated Care System (ICS) status has now moved a step closer after the Health and Care Bill last week received Royal Assent. This means that we remain on course for the formal establishment of statutory ICSs on 1 July 2022.

As part of preparations for this planned transition, two new ICS Place Directors have been seconded to our two local authorities in a move that will help to further strengthen collaboration between the NHS and local government.

Ali Gilbert

Ali Gilbert

Ali Gilbert and Julie Curtis will be leaving their current director roles at NHS Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to take up these new secondment positions at North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council respectively on Monday 9 May.

Ali and Julie said: “We welcome the new secondment opportunity to help shape and design the future of this part of our new ICS. We are excited to join the teams in our respective local authorities in these new ICS Place Director roles focusing on health and social care integration. We feel privileged to have been part of the CCG and working alongside the staff and everything they have achieved. Thank you.”

Anna Earnshaw, Chief Executive of West Northamptonshire Council, said: “We’re really pleased to be welcoming Julie as ICS Place Director for West Northants – she brings with her a wealth of experience and will play a key role in developing integrated health and care at grassroots level, so we can reduce inequalities and improve outcomes for our communities.”

Rob Bridge, Chief Executive of North Northamptonshire Council, said: “I am delighted to welcome Ali Gilbert as ICS Place Director for North Northamptonshire. This role is vital in developing joined-up approaches between partners aimed at bringing

Julie Curtis

Julie Curtis

improved health outcomes for everyone living in the area. This role will focus on working with partners, including those from health, the voluntary sector and West Northamptonshire Council to set up the new place-based arrangements for the area that can make a real positive difference to people’s lives.”

Dr Joanne Watt, GP Chair at NHS Northamptonshire CCG said: “I have really enjoyed working with Ali and Julie, who will bring a wealth of experience and skills to the important work that will be taking place in our two Places. They both have such a valuable range of skills and experience which are particularly strong in transformation and relationships with general practice. Their work in our Places with system partners will help us to build a better future for Northamptonshire.”

Toby Sanders, Chief Executive of NHS Northamptonshire CCG and Designate Chief Executive of the new Northamptonshire Integrated Care Board, which is set to replace the CCG on 1 July 2022, said: “I am delighted that over the coming months Ali and Julie will be able to bring their wealth of local knowledge and relationships into the development of our two Place arrangements.

“The development of health and care integration across each of our two unitary Places is a central element of our new ICS operating model. These secondments will enable Ali and Julie to work with each of the councils, and other partners from health and the voluntary sector, to set up the new Place arrangements for each area. Their work will also include supporting the development of the collaboratives led by each of the councils, as well as how each of the collaboratives connect to the Places by tailoring services to the particular needs and populations of each area.

“I would like to personally thank Ali and Julie for their huge contribution to the CCG and wider system over the last few years. Both have made a massive contribution to our county’s response to the pandemic, as well as leading major transformation programmes through the collaboratives and with primary care.”

Alongside these two secondments, Eileen Doyle will start working from 9 May 2022 into the new ICB Chief Operating Officer role on an interim basis, which will take on much of Ali and Julie’s current portfolios. Eileen has been working with NHS Northamptonshire CCG over recent months on an interim basis helping lead the development and transition of the new ICS arrangements.

Eileen said: “I am pleased to be able to step in for this interim period whilst the new ICB executive team is substantively formed. It’s been great working with Julie and Ali and I wish them every success in their work with the two local authorities around the Place agenda.”

Further announcements about other ICB director roles will be made in due course. To read previous announcements about ICB recruitment, follow the links below.