Joined Up Care Derbyshire, the county’s sustainability and transformation partnership, has announced the appointment to the position of Independent Chair, following recent interviews.

Ashbourne resident John MacDonald has worked in and with the NHS in Board level roles for more than 25 years. Mr MacDonald is the first permanent appointment in the role, as Joined Up Care Derbyshire looks to pave the way for greater integration of health and care services in the future. He will work with leaders of Derbyshire’s hospital trusts, mental health provider, Local Authorities, primary care networks and NHS clinical commissioning group to enhance NHS and care services. 

Derbyshire’s health and care leaders have been jointly delivering an ambitious plan since 2016 as part of the local sustainability and transformation partnership (STP), to put health and social care services in a stronger position through which to support the needs of local people. The summer of 2019 is also seeing a major refresh of the plan to ensure the priorities remain relevant and take into account directives emerging from the NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 

Announcing Mr MacDonald’s appointment, Vikki Taylor, Derbyshire STP Director, said: 

“We are delighted John has agreed to become the independent chair of Derbyshire’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership following a rigorous, national selection process. John has a long and proud history of public service in Derbyshire, the East Midlands and more widely across England and abroad. His experience at a senior level in the NHS and significant experience as a Joined Up Care Derbyshire, the county’s sustainability and transformation partnership, has announced the appointment to the position of Independent Chair, following recent interviews. Chair will help steer the Derbyshire health and care system as we tackle some of the major health and care challenges facing local people.”

Mr MacDonald has lived in Derbyshire for nearly 25 years, is currently the Chair of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and will continue in that role. Having worked overseas in the early part of his career, Mr MacDonald has worked inside the NHS in various Board and consultancy roles since 1990. As a former Chief Executive of Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals and Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, Mr MacDonald has significant leadership experience with a strong track record of delivering large scale transformation programmes to improve care. Outside of work, Mr MacDonald runs a family smallholding, enjoys walking in the Peak District and has a keen interest in sport and reading. 

“John demonstrated his extensive experience and understanding of the challenges facing the local health and care system during the interview process,” said Avi Bhatia, chair of NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and interview panel member. “The clarity John will bring to the system in identifying our shared, joint goals will be of great help and we look forward to him taking up his new post.” 

The appointment follows a period during which there has been an interim STP Chair, Dr Paul Wood, a GP from Derby. Vikki Taylor added: “Paul has been a great interim chair for the Derbyshire STP. It has been a challenging period for the health and care system and Paul has helped steer the discussions between partners to ensure there is a clear system benefit to decisions, rather than a benefit for individual organisations. We thank Paul for his significant contribution and wish him well for the future.” 

Of his appointment, Mr MacDonald said: “There is nothing more important than the health and wellbeing of our family and friends. The vision of Joined Up Care Derbyshire – to support people with a good start in life, to help them stay healthy, age well and die well – outlines how public services need to work together to benefit the population of Derbyshire at every stage of life. It is this holistic approach to the way in which we need to organise care that attracted me to the post, and I think that my experience of working in and chairing large organisations can help the system navigate its way through individual organisational challenges to fully reap the benefits of health and care services working in unison.” 

Mr MacDonald has been appointed by the Derbyshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership. His role has been approved by NHS England and NHS Improvement, and is subject to completion of standard NHS employment checks. Mr Macdonald is due to take up his post in August and is appointed on a permanent basis.