THE Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA) has announced the appointment of Dr Owen Williams OBE as its new Chief Executive.
The appointment follows the announcement in April of the decision by current Chief Executive, Raj Jain, to retire from the NHS at the end of the Summer.
The NCA was created in 2016, bringing together over 20,000 staff and services from across Salford Royal and Pennine Acute NHS Trusts (PAT), providing four hospitals and community healthcare services in Salford, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale.
In a personal message to staff, the group’s Chairman Professor Michael Luger announced that Dr Williams has been appointed to help lead the organisation in the next “exciting step” in its journey – and what he called – “a new era for the Northern Care Alliance and our NCA Family”.
Commenting on the appointment, Professor Luger said:
“On behalf of our Board of Directors and Council of Governors, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Owen Williams as our new Chief Executive. This follows a thorough national search and rigorous and inclusive process of recruitment and selection.
“This is an exciting time for Owen to join our organisation. He will bring his wealth of experience and strong leadership skills gained from the NHS and his senior roles in local government to lead and drive forward our plans and aspirations in the next exciting step on our NCA journey. As we head towards the completion of the PAT Transaction, this is the start of a new era for the Northern Care Alliance and our NCA Family. I am in no doubt Owen will build on the foundations our group has made over the last five years and progress further to make us the employer and provider of choice so that we support and meet the needs of our staff, patients and the communities we serve.
“The NCA plays an active role in the integration of health and care services within the four areas we serve, working closely with other providers and partners. We also play a key role as a provider in the wider Greater Manchester system, collaborating with others to ensure the best care possible.
“Owen is well-respected and a leading voice across the national arena in tackling areas of health inequality, diversity and inclusion. This, along with our commitment to population health, social value, sustainability and regeneration, are key areas for us as one of the largest NHS organisations in the country. We have a diverse workforce and the communities we serve require a holistic approach to supporting our local communities and addressing health inequalities”.
Dr Williams has been Chief Executive of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT) since 2012. He has also been the Senior Responsible Officer for Capital and Estates in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate ICS since 2017.
In the 2020 New Year’s Honours list he was awarded an OBE for service to health care across West Yorkshire and was asked to lead a national piece of work across the NHS with regards to health inequalities. He holds national roles including Chair of the National Health Inequalities Expert Advisory Group and advisory roles with NHSX in terms of its digital planning for the future and the National GIRFT programme which has had a focus on continuous improvement of care for patients. He was previously Vice Chair of the NHS Confederation and prior to joining the NHS he has worked across Local Government including two roles as Chief Executive at Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council and Rossendale District Borough Council.
Commenting on his appointment, Dr Owen Williams OBE, said:
“I am both delighted and honoured to be taking up the Chief Executive role at NCA. Across each of the care organisations there is a track record of providing great care for the communities that we serve and, without a shadow of doubt, every one of our 20,000 colleagues have visibly stepped up to meet the challenges of the pandemic.
“The Board’s ongoing commitment to patient quality and safety, alongside their desire to provide the maximum support possible to colleagues providing care, is what attracted me to the role. This, together with collaborating further with our partners, presents a real opportunity for us to collectively move forward with confidence.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues at my current organisation, CHFT, who have been the embodiment of what it means to be in public service.”
Prof Luger has also thanked outgoing Chief Executive, Raj Jain, for his service to the NHS, to Salford Royal and the NCA Group.
“On behalf of our Board and our NCA Family I would also like to again thank and wish Raj all the very best on his retirement. He has been instrumental in Salford Royal’s success and achievements and, over the past five years, has helped lead improvements across Pennine Acute Trust under the NCA Group.
“Over the last two years, the organisation has benefitted greatly from Raj’s talent and leadership qualities. He has built a strong Executive team and has not only helped drive forward our group plans and led us through a difficult period in our response to the pandemic, but has continued to focus his attention on progressing a host of important areas and strategic priorities. We wish him a happy and enjoyable retirement.”