New executive director joins NHS team at time of enormous change

The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent NHS clinical commissioning groups are welcoming a new Chief Finance Officer at a time of unprecedented change.

The CCGs are membership organisations, whose membership is all the GP practices serving a population of nearly 1.2 million people.

CCG staff normally operate from offices in Burton, Hanley and Stafford. But since late March they have been working remotely from home while some of those who are clinically qualified, mostly highly experienced nurses, have volunteered to return to work at the frontline against Coronavirus.

Paul Brown joins the CCGs today. Paul trained as an accountant on the NHS training scheme and spent his first 17 years working for the NHS in London, Kent and Sussex. He has also worked in the private sector, education, local government, central government, housing and nuclear power.

Paul returned to the NHS in 2018 as Chief Financial Officer for the eight CCGS in North West London.

Marcus Warnes, Accountable Officer for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs said: “I would like to warmly welcome Paul although I won’t be able to shake his hand for a considerable time.

“He has already started to prepare for his new role having met remotely with a number of his new colleagues before he starts on June 8. Paul will bring a wealth of experience to this key role and will play a key part working with system partners at a time of unprecedented change.

“I would really like to thank all CCG staff for the extraordinary way they have adapted to support the fight against the pandemic, whether it is helping co-ordinate the response from primary care, returning to the frontline or doing work that is often unseen, but equally crucial in keeping the NHS functioning.”

Current Interim Chief Finance Officer Neil Cook will continue to work alongside Paul, virtually, before he leaves the CCG in July to ensure a seamless handover.

Marcus added, “Neil has done a tremendous job for the CCGs during his time with us, strengthening the finance function, its staffing structure, systems and processes. He has also improved the CCGs’ financial position and ensured that we ended the year in line with the expectations of NHS England and NHS Improvement.

“I wish Neil well in his next assignment, after what I hope will be a well-deserved break over the summer.”