New Chair appointed for future Sussex Integrated Care Board

The new Chair Designate of the future Integrated Care Board (ICB) for Sussex is Stephen Lightfoot.

New Chair appointed for future Sussex Integrated Care BoardStephen has been appointed following a comprehensive recruitment process, led by NHS England and NHS Improvement and endorsed by the Secretary of State, and will initially have a designate role, ahead of the ICB becoming fully functional from April 2022, subject to Parliament confirming the current plans.

ICBs are part of the new legislative proposals set out in the Health and Care Bill 2021, which will put the 42 Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) across the country on a statutory footing, empowering health and care organisations to work with partners to better join-up health and care, with the aim of improving population health and reducing health inequalities. The Bill is currently at Committee Stage, where it is receiving a detailed examination following its second reading.

The proposed future ICB for Sussex will oversee the commissioning, performance, financial management and transformation of the local NHS, as part of the Sussex Health and Care Partnership ICS.

A key element of preparing for implementation of the new legislation is the recruitment of the most senior leadership roles within each ICB, starting with the ICB Chair Designate. The next step is to recruit ICB Chief Executive Officer Designates for all ICBs and this process is well advanced, with those individuals expected to be announced in November.

Stephen and his family have lived in Sussex for 27 years. He is the Chair of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and has recently completed his eight-year term as Deputy Chair of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and his term as Non-Executive Chair of Sussex Primary Care Limited. Prior to his non-executive roles, Stephen had a 30-year career in the life sciences industry working on the development, manufacture and commercialisation of medicines and medical devices in a wide range of therapy areas for UK and global healthcare companies.

Stephen is passionate about improving the health and care of everyone living in Sussex by listening to what people want and working with all of our partner organisations to deliver more integrated services. He said:

“It is a huge honour to have been appointed as the Chair Designate of the Sussex Health and Care Partnership Integrated Care Board and I’m looking forward to working with all of our partner organisations and their incredible staff to help deliver our Sussex 2025 vision for a healthier future.”

A significant amount of work has taken place over the last few years to build strong partnership working across the Sussex Health and Care Partnership, which has seen greater joined-up working across organisations, teams and geographies, and improvement in the quality, financial management, commissioning and culture and relationships across the system.

Bob Alexander has been independent chair of the ICS since 2017 and announced earlier this year he would be stepping down from the role following the appointment of the new ICB Chair Designate.

Anne Eden, South East Regional Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement, said:

“Stephen will have a hugely important role and has been appointed following a robust process where he was among some excellent candidates. He and others will drive improved services for patients and better population health, and deliver long-term local strategies and priorities into next year and beyond including the vaccine roll-out, elective recovery and addressing health inequalities. I would also like to take the opportunity to recognise and thank Bob Alexander for his role as existing ICS Chair.”

Bob Alexander said:

“It has been a pleasure to be part of the significant development and improvements that have been made across the system over the last few years and I would like to thank everyone involved who have worked so hard. I wish the Chair Designate well in the new role and am confident the Sussex system will continue its progress in the next stage of its development to the benefit of the population it serves.”