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Stewart George and Fred Hucker land top jobs in new NHS set-up
THE same men who led Buckinghamshire’s soon-to-be-scrapped NHS trust have landed top jobs within the county’s new health system.
Stewart George, who was joint-chair of NHS Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Cluster, has been appointed interim chairman of the new Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group [CCG].
The Cluster is soon to be disbanded and the CCG, which is made up of 35 GP practices, will take over control of health budgets.
And Fred Hucker, who was the Cluster’s other joint chairman, has recently taken over as chairman of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust [BHT], which runs the county’s hospitals.
According to a job description posted online, Mr George, who has also worked in HR for 25 years, will command a salary of up to £40,000 for about six days work per month.
Mr Hucker, who used to work in the oil industry, earns £36,000 per year at BHT, working about three days a week.
The appointments were mentioned by MP Steve Baker in Parliament this week, as he spoke about the public’s lack of control over closures at Wycombe Hospital.
The Wycombe Conservative told the Commons on Monday: “Senior NHS executives keep circulating....Mr George is now moving to the CCG, and Mr Hucker to Buckinghamshire hospitals trust.
“A new era of openness, accountability and genuine public involvement seems unlikely, and continuity seems a dreary inevitability, but all that ought not to be.”
Though he was not commenting directly on Mr George or Mr Hucker, health minister Dr Daniel Poulter told the chamber: “Before I discuss the substantive points about Wycombe, I should address my hon. Friend’s point about failing management in the NHS. He is right that there is a tendency to recycle failing managers in the NHS....”
Chiltern CCG said Mr George’s appointment was made with “independent local scrutiny”, with the job advertised and several candidates considered. The appointment is currently going through a ratification process involving a national commissioning body.
BHT said Mr Hucker was independently appointed by the national Appointments Commission. A spokesman said his experience with the NHS Cluster will be “invaluable as we seek to work with GPs, social care, local councils and other stakeholders to strengthen and develop services”.