Daily Insight: Marks for Style | News

Some big people moves at the top of the shop over the past 24 hours.

Mark Cubbon, deputy to Amanda Pritchard since earlier this year, is to remain her deputy: but, now, in the capacity of NHSE interim chief operating officer, Ms Pritchard having been promoted from COO to CEO last week.

NHSE has stressed there will be an open recruitment process for the substantive COO role. The organisation has come under fire for failing to go through that process for some recent big jobs, and eyebrows may be raised if the deputy gets another huge job at the centre.

Elsewhere, Matt Style – erstwhile director of strategic finance at NHS England, where he seems to be very well regarded for his hand in all kinds of crucial policy and negotiations – is off to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Over at Victoria Street, Mr Style will be a director general with wide-ranging responsibility for NHS matters, replacing Lee McDonough. Also a former director in the Treasury – and having close experience of Simon Stevens’ notorious funding stand-offs with government – Mr Style will play a key part in the negotiations over funding and staffing expected to simmer through summer and autumn.

And in a separate development in NHS finance land, Peter Ridley has been brought in to NHSE to replace Sandra Easton as deputy chief financial officer for operational finance. Mr Ridley has been chief finance and compliance officer at the Royal Free London Group since 2018, and was previously its group director of strategy and performance. Ms Easton left NHSE in July to become senior finance director at Johnson & Johnson medical devices companies.

Talking of Royal Free, another alumnus of its board — NHSE medical director Professor Steve Powis — will now become, for formalities’ sake, the chief executive of NHS Improvement (another seat just vacated by Ms Pritchard).