Tracey Bleakley, currently Chief Executive Officer of Hospice UK, has been appointed CEO-designate of the new Integrated Care Board (ICB) of Norfolk and Waveney’s Integrated Care System (ICS).

Welcoming the appointment, Patricia Hewitt, Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney ICS, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Tracey as the CEO-designate. She impressed the interview panel with her track record as a leader, her absolute commitment to putting patients and those who care for them first and her ability to create effective partnerships between the NHS, the voluntary sector, local government, and other partners.

“I know that Tracey will play a vital leadership role as we seize this exciting opportunity to transform and integrate health and care services for the benefit of over 1 million people in Norfolk and Waveney.”

Integrated Care Systems will ensure health and care services work more closely together to improve the health of the people and communities they serve.

They will be formally established on the 1 April 2022, once the NHS Health and Care Bill 2021 has received the Royal Assent.

Ms. Bleakley has been the CEO of Hospice UK since 2016. The national charity works for those experiencing death, dying and bereavement and supports 200 hospices across the UK.

Tracey said: “I feel hugely privileged to have been selected to become the CEO-designate of the new Norfolk and Waveney ICB.

“I see my job as working with partners in the NHS, local authorities and the wider community so that between us we improve the healthy life expectancy, independence and wellbeing, reduce loneliness and social isolation of the people of Norfolk and Waveney, while supporting our workforce to do the job they came into the sector to do.”

The appointment was made after an open and competitive recruitment and assessment process, which included stakeholder panels featuring members from partner organisations.

Dr Anoop Dhesi, local GP and Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (NWCCG), said:

“The CCG has many achievements already to its name, not least the role it played under the leadership of its CEO Melanie Craig, in supporting the NHS response to the Covid pandemic, leading the Norfolk & Waveney system response through this incredibly challenging period and then the successful Covid vaccination programme that followed.

“Tracey will have great work to build on as she strengthens those partnerships across the NHS and with the wider community to cut waiting lists, reduce health inequalities and help more people lead longer, healthier and happier lives.”

Councillor Bill Borrett, Chair of The Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“I look forward to working with Tracey. In this new system Health and Social Care are going to be working much closer together. Her experience of working in the voluntary sector, with the NHS and local and national government, will be a huge asset to Norfolk and Waveney, as we focus our collective ambition on supporting people here to live the healthiest lives possible.”

Melanie Craig, CEO of NWCCG said:

“It has been one of the greatest privileges of my professional life to work alongside such a dedicated team here at the NWCCG and so closely with wonderful colleagues across the NHS, local authorities, and of course, General Practice.

“A single management team came together in 2019. It brought five CCGs into one as our country went into the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. The pandemic has tested everyone but what it has shown is that when trust and partnerships are strong the seemingly impossible can be overcome.”

As well as taking on the existing responsibilities of the CCG, the new ICB will be accountable for the performance and finances of the NHS across Norfolk and Waveney - a total budget of more than £1.6 billion a year.

The ICB will be one of two new statutory bodies in the Norfolk and Waveney ICS, the other being a new Integrated Care Partnership that will bring together the NHS, local government, the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector and other partners to focus on prevention, wider social and economic factors affecting people’s health and reducing health inequalities.