Source: North East and North Cumbria ICS

Sir Liam Donaldson

Sir Liam, who was England’s CMO and the UK’s chief medical adviser from 1998 to 2010, was confirmed as the chair of the North East and North Cumbria ICS this week.

In a statement, the ICS said the appointment of Sir Liam, who is also the World Health Organization’s envoy for patient safety, “is the next step in formalising” the ICS and enabling the NHS, local authorities and voluntary sector to “take a collective role in planning and delivering care”.

One of Sir Liam’s first jobs will be to set up a board to agree the main regional priorities for improving population health and shape the planning of the area’s health and wellbeing services.

Sir Liam said: “It’s a privilege to take on the role of chair for the integrated care system in the North East and North Cumbria. Whilst we are fortunate to have some of the best services in the country, we are historically a region with high levels of premature death and preventable illness.

“We have an opportunity to address this with real focus and determination. We must aim to close the long-standing health inequality gap with a clear plan to support our population to live healthier and have higher quality lives. Covid-19 has brought a new and formidable challenge that also is a priority.”

During his time as CMO, Sir Liam called for the smoking ban in pubs, which was adopted in 2007, and led the response to the swine flu pandemic in 2009.

However, he was criticised by GPs and the British Medical Association in 2006 when he recommended GPs send correspondence from patients objecting to their medical records being placed on a central database to then health secretary Patricia Hewitt. The BMA called for his resignation in 2007 over issues with a training system for doctors. 

ICS statement

Source: North East and North Cumbria ICS

December 2020