Following a robust process, NHS England and NHS Improvement has recommended, and the Secretary of State has agreed, that the Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt is the Chair-designate of the new NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB), ready to take up the post from April 2022 should Parliament confirm the current plans.

Patricia, a former Secretary of State for Health, has been the Independent Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership (ICS) for the last four years, and together with senior clinical and management colleagues, she has been instrumental in driving forward the partnership’s work.

Speaking about her appointment, Patricia said: “As a resident of Norfolk, with long family connections here, I am delighted and honoured to have been announced as the Chair-designate of the new NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board. 

"We have a hugely exciting opportunity to build on many years of partnership working and, particularly, the exceptional achievements of the last eighteen months, including one of the most effective Covid vaccination programmes in the country. Now we need to step up our efforts to support our wonderful NHS and social care staff, bring waiting lists down, reduce health inequalities and help more people lead longer, healthier and happier lives.” 

The Health and Care Bill 2021, which contains a series of measures to formally establish Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), is currently at Committee Stage receiving a detailed examination following its second reading.

The Bill will put ICSs on a firm statutory footing, empowering them to better join up health and care, improve population health and reduce health inequalities. 

Each ICB will hold a substantial budget for commissioning high quality patient care and have the authority to establish performance arrangements to ensure this is delivered. In Norfolk and Waveney the budget the ICB will be responsible for is over £1.6 billion.

NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) will be the statutory legal entity which will replace NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). It will bring the local NHS together to improve population health and care. As with all statutory NHS organisations there will be a Board that will run the ICB.

A key element of preparing for legislation to take effect is confirming who would take up senior roles within each ICB, starting with the ICB Chair-designate.

The leaders of our ICSs will have a hugely important and challenging role working with all system partners to deliver excellent healthcare and improve the health of the communities we all serve.

The next step is to recruit ICB CEO designates for all 42 ICSs and more information will be announced on this in due course.

Dr Anoop Dhesi, local GP and Clinical Chair at NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG, said: “Patricia’s appointment is great news for Norfolk and Waveney. Patricia has been a really effective leader in our local health and care system and has worked tirelessly to bring a wide range of organisations together. This is an exciting time as we continue the journey to truly integrated working across health and care. This appointment takes us a step closer to formalising the necessary arrangements which will enable us to become a statutory body by April 2022.”

Ann Radmore, East of England Regional Director for NHS England and Improvement, said: “I would like to congratulate Patricia Hewitt on her appointment.  As chair of the current ICS, she's shown a real commitment to the partnership of health and social care organisations working together, so that the people of Norfolk and Waveney get the best from the services that support them.”