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Monitor chief job delayed

2nd September 2010

A civil service recruitment freeze has delayed the recruitment of a new chief executive for the foundation trust regulatory body Monitor.

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Critics say the delay is not helpful at a time that Monitor is regarded as being in need of strong leadership and about to be given new powers.

Monitor is currently awaiting approval from the Department of Health to formally start the appointment of a permanent chief. David Bennett has been interim chief executive since March.

Informal discussions have already begun with recruitment consultancies over filling the vacant chief executive’s position.

A spokeswoman for Monitor said: “However, in light of the recruitment freeze in place for public sector bodies, we are currently in discussion with the DH on when the formal recruitment process will begin.”

While Monitor would normally make the appointment itself, because the salary is likely to be above that of the prime minister’s £142,500 a year, it will have to be approved by the Department of Health under new coalition government rules.

There is additional speculation that health secretary Andrew Lansley may choose to replace some or all of Monitor’s board as part of its transformation to a system wide economic regulator.

Monitor non-executive director Stephen Thornton, who is also chief executive of the Health Foundation, said the organisation urgently needed clarity and strong leadership, particularly because of the change in role.

He said: “I want us to sort out the leadership of the organisation, and for the secretary of state to make that a priority.”

 

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