The King's Fund statement on Sir Nigel Crisp's departure from the NHS

Commenting on the news of Sir Nigel Crisp's departure from the NHS, The King’s Fund chief executive Niall Dickson said:

'Sir Nigel Crisp has made a highly significant contribution to the NHS and he leaves it in a much better state than when he took over. He has achieved this while carrying out two difficult roles as Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary.

'However, there are severe financial difficulties in the health service which threaten to derail the reforms. Sir Nigel has acknowledged that he shares responsibility for this as much as the real successes he has helped to deliver and that is as it should be. But if he is responsible, so too are the politicians who oversaw the expensive new pay deals and the other changes that have helped to create the current pressures.

'The manner and timing of his departure is not helpful. This may be the time for a new leader but it could surely have been achieved in a few months, giving the opportunity to find a permanent successor and for a smooth transition. The last thing the NHS needs now is more uncertainty and instability.

'Nevertheless, we welcome the appointment of Sir Ian Carruthers as acting chief executive - he is a highly experienced manager with an excellent track record and represents a safe pair of hands at a testing time for health care in England.'

Notes to editors: 

  1. For further information or interviews, please contact the King's Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2585, 020 7307 2632 or 020 7307 2581. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.
  2. The King's Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through funding. We are a major resource to people working in health and social care, offering leadership development programmes; seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; and conference and meeting facilities.