New Chair appointed for the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group

Prof M Luger
New Chair appointed for the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group
21 December 2020

THE Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA) – the local NHS organisation that runs hospitals and community healthcare services in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and Salford – has announced the appointment of its new Chair.

Professor Michael Luger, former Dean of Manchester Business School and former Chair of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, has been appointed by the NCA Group’s Council of Governors.

The NCA employs around 20,000 NHS and social care staff across its four hospitals and local community healthcare services, with an operating budget of over £1.3bn.

Mr Luger starts in post in January 2021 for a three year term in office.

The appointment follows the retirement of former Chair, Mr Jim Potter, who led the Board of Directors at Salford Royal for more than 20 years and then latterly as part of the NCA Group (including The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust) for the last five years.

Professor Luger holds an academic background as a PhD public sector economist. He completed an interim role as Pro-Vice Chancellor (International) and Dean of the Faculty of

Business and Management at Regent’s University London. He is appointed to the Board of the Office of Rail and Road, where his term ends in 2021.

Professor Luger is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Manchester.

In a message to staff, Mr Luger said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been chosen as your new Chair for the NCA Group. I want to thank our Governors, the Board, and the staff and stakeholders who were involved in my appointment for the trust they are showing in me.   

“I have loved my time and association with the NHS, most recently as chair of a NHS Foundation Trust since 2014, becoming even more convinced that England has the finest healthcare system and the most devoted and capable healthcare workers compared to anywhere. And what I have seen from the NHS during this pandemic has only reinforced those views. I am also deeply impressed with the model of healthcare the NCA Group represents. I believe it is an integrated model that can and should be replicated across the country.  

“I relish the opportunity to build on the excellent work and legacy of your former chair, Jim Potter, and other colleagues.  We owe it to our staff and the families and communities we serve to make sure the changes and improvements that have been made are embedded in practice and that we continue to support staff to provide high quality care and services. It is important we keep the relationships and bridges built with key partner organisations, and of course recognising and responding to the day to day pressures faced by our NHS teams.

“As daunting a challenge this is, I am heartened by the strong team that is in place and the NCA team ethos, from the Executives, our clinical and corporate teams, our dedicated group of staff and public governors to our network of volunteers, members, partner agencies and friends.”  

It is a statutory responsibility of an NHS Foundation Trust Council of Governors to appoint Non-Executive Directors, including the Chair. The Council of Governors for the NCA comprise public and staff representatives across the Group’s local communities that hold the Board of Directors to account.

Commenting on Professor Luger’s appointment, Mrs Chris Mullen who is Lead Governor, said: “On behalf of the Council Governors, I would like to express a warm welcome to Professor Michael Luger to the Northern Care Alliance as the newly appointed Chairman.

“Following a rigorous recruitment process, we were pleased to have appointed Michael in December, whom we know comes with a wealth of experience and skills that will aid the organisation in moving forward in its future vision and plans. We are very much looking forward to developing a positive and effective working relationship with the new Chair, and look forward to meeting with him in the new year (virtually for now) until it is safe for us to meet in person again.”