New Director Appointed at NHS Improvement

Mark Hackett has been appointed as an improvement director at NHS Improvement.

The new director has an excellent grounding in NHS affairs, being a former trust chief executive.

Hackett has surprisingly quit his prominent role at University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust last year.

But he will now attempt to assist Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust and East Kent Hospitals University FT on behalf of the watchdog.

East Kent Hospitals University FT has experienced financial difficulties following a £23 million deficit accumulated in the most recent financial year.

Board papers have revealed that the trust has been handed a £6.5 million deficit control target for the forthcoming financial year.

And Hackett will be essentially involved in devising a financial recovery plan for the struggling trust.

And while the details of this initiative have have yet to be finalised, it is known that reducing agency costs and the amount of money spent on supplies of services will be core aspects of the recovery scheme.

Reduced use of waiting list work, back office and clinical support consolidation, improving productivity, and effective vacancy management will also be involved.

The trust has already made some progress in achieving efficiency savings, with nearly £17 million being achieved over the last 12 months.

However, this is still a mere fraction of everything that the trust must ultimately achieve, as it is required to made £30 million worth of savings in the forthcoming financial year.

In order to achieve this, Hackett has already been collaborating with the finance team at the trust in order to deliver the largest savings plan in the region.

This new scheme has been described as “mission critical” by chief executive Mairead McAlinden.

In order to oversee the new planning, a financial improvement scrutiny committee will monitor the processes involved.

This has been set up specifically to report directly to the board of the trust, with McAlinden, non-executive director David Allen and Hackett all involved.

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National Institute for Biological Standards and Control Announces New Director

The National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) has announced the appointment of a new director.

Director Dr Stephen Inglis has headed the institute for 14 years, but is now entering into retirement.

NIBSC have announced that Dr Christian K Schneider will replace Inglis, although he will not formally begin his duties in the organisation until January 2016.

Schneider is currently head of the medical division of the Danish Health and Medicines Authority.

The NIBSC is a global leader in the field of biological standardisation, and responsible for developing and producing over 90 per cent of the biological international standards currently in use globally.

Schneider brings a wealth of experience to the NIBSC, having previously enjoyed a prestigious career in medicine across mainland Europe.

His initial qualification in medicine was secured at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology, where Schneider also worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Schneider later spent nearly a decade working at the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany, where he particularly specialised in microbiology.

Since October 2011, Schneider has worked with the Danish Health and Medicines Authority, initially as Senior Medical Officer, and latterly as the Medical Head of Division for Medicines Licensing and Availability.

Schneider possesses a particular extensive publication record, with dozens of his co-authored articles having appeared in a wide range of medical journals.

The new appointee has also taken up further prominent positions in addition to his day-to-day work.

Schneider is a former chair of the Committee for Advanced Therapies and continues to chair the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) Working Party on Similar Biological Medicinal Products at the European Medicines Agency.

He is also a former member of the CHMP.

Speaking about the new appointment, Dr Ian Hudson, Chief Executive of MHRA, was delighted to welcome Schneider, and looked forward to him filling his new post.

“I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Stephen for his leadership of NIBSC, which has gone from strength to strength under his directorship, continuing to lead the world in biological standards, making a very significant contribution to public health throughout the world through its work on biological medicines,” Hudson reflected.

But Hudson was also keen to point out that although Schneider will be joining the institute in January of next year, the formal commencement of his directorship will not begin until 1st April, 2016.

Schneider will have many responsibilities in his new role once it becomes active, but perhaps one of the most notable is in relation to pandemic flu.

NIBSC is a key UK research centre in the field of pandemic flu, and also hosts the UK Stem Cell Bank.

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