The King's Fund today welcomed the appointment of David Nicholson as the new chief executive of the National Health Service.
The King's Fund chief executive Niall Dickson said:
'We welcome David Nicholson into his new role and look forward to working with him. He has a strong reputation and a good track record and the type of qualities that will be needed at this critical time in the reform of the NHS.
'It was an open secret that the government was considering candidates from both the private sector and the US to take over from Sir Nigel Crisp. The fact that someone from within the health service has been chosen to take over the reins is a credit to the NHS and is an acknowledgement of the expertise that exists within the service.
'However, it would be wrong to assume that this is a sign that future reform of the service is not needed. There is no doubt that this is a hugely challenging time for the NHS. Top of David Nicholson's list of priorities will be restoring financial balance to the service and getting to grips with commissioning – the Achilles Heel of the health service.'
David Nicholson is currently chief executive of the London Strategic Health Authority and will leave his role as leader of London's NHS to take up his new post at the Department of Health from September.
Niall Dickson added:
'While David's appointment is a boost to the NHS as a whole, it comes as a blow to the health service in the capital given he has only been in his role for under a month. David Nicholson has a very important role presiding over services in London that cost more than £7 billion a year, while the capital is still facing serious financial problems and there is a clear need to rationalise services and drive efficiency.'
Notes to editors:
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- 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.