Commenting on the appointment of Simon Stevens as Chief Executive of NHS England, Chris Ham, Chief Executive of The King's Fund said:
'Simon Stevens will take up a very different role to the one David Nicholson was appointed to in 2006. Although still the most senior leader in the national health system, he will not be the Chief Executive of the NHS.
'This will mean treading a careful line between responding to the priorities of ministers on the one hand and, on the other, working collaboratively with colleagues from the other main national bodies to provide strong collective leadership for the NHS.
'He will arrive in post at a time when the NHS is facing unprecedented financial and service pressures and its most significant challenges in a generation – meeting these challenges will require leadership skills of the highest order.
'Simon brings exceptional knowledge of working at the highest level of government, a strong commitment to the NHS and significant international experience. He will also have a keen appetite for addressing the challenges facing the NHS – as such I can't think of anyone better qualified for the role.'
Notes to editors:
The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and health care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible care is available to all.