Christine Outram appointed as Senior Responsible Officer for Health Education England

The Future Forum reported overwhelming support for Health Education England (HEE) and advised expediting its set up. The Government agreed in the response to the Future Forum report and in his letter of 17th July, Sir David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive, announced the decision to appoint a Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for HEE to accelerate the process for setting up HEE.  Christine Outram has been appointed HEE SRO with immediate effect, combining the duties of this appointment with her role as Managing Director of Medical Education England. Christine is an accomplished NHS Chief Executive who has deep experience in leading high profile, national programmes and in setting up new health service organisations.

Christine will build a transition team to take forward the design and development of HEE, as a Special Health Authority in the first instance, so that it is ready to take on a shadow role by 1 October 2012, six months before the SHAs will cease to exist.  She will be supported in her task by a steering group led by Kate Lampard, formerly Chair of South East England Strategic Health Authority.   

In 2012/13 SHAs will continue to be accountable for education and training budgets, the deaneries and medical recruitment, whilst they are developing local provider-led arrangements. We expect to begin the HEE Chair and CEO appointments process in the new year and the process to obtain parliamentary approval to establish HEE as a Special Health Authority shortly afterwards. Initially HEE will focus on developing its operating model and the authorisation process for provider-led arrangements, so that by April 2013 HEE can take on its full operational role and accountability for leadership of the education and training system.   

These arrangements provide a steady and phased transition to support the development of local provider-led arrangements, with HEE taking the lead in setting the authorisation criteria which will support the development of local networks to take on their responsibilities. The timetable for setting up the local provider-led arrangements will allow for a robust 'baton handing' process to ensure the effective migration of skills and functions from the SHAs.

The Department of Health will soon be publishing further details on the new arrangements for workforce planning, education and training.