ICS appoints Chief Executive

12 November 2021

We are delighted to announce that Rob Hurd has been appointed as Chief Executive of the NW London Integrated Care System (ICS).

All parts of the local NHS and all eight local authorities in North West London joined together as an ‘integrated care system’ (ICS) in April 2021, using their collective strength to improve life expectancy and quality of life, reduce health inequalities and achieve health outcomes on a par with the best of global cities. The benefits of joint working have already been illustrated in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and in a shared commitment to addressing inequality across North West London. Legislation* is currently going through Parliament to put ICSs on a statutory footing across the country. 

The ICS means that in future, services across North West London will be built around the needs of local people, with all part of the system working together to deliver the best possible care and outcomes.  A key challenge is to address the variation in access to health and in health outcomes, for example the numbers of years lived in poor health between different areas across our eight boroughs – and work is already underway.

Rob Hurd brings decades of experience to this key leadership role. He is currently playing a similar role in the North Central London (NCL) ICS where he has been on secondment from his role as Chief Executive of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust (RNOH), jointly leading the NCL response to the pandemic in partnership with local authorities. This included NCL’s learning on its ‘rapid accelerator’ response to improving waiting lists. At RNOH, Rob led the high profile national programme ‘Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT)’ as part of the National Clinical Efficiency Programme for NHS England.

Rob will take up the role in early January 2022 and we are delighted that he will be able to join some ICS meetings before that.

As Chief Executive, Rob will lead the ICS, working with colleagues from across the health and care sector to improve services for residents in North West London, to improve health and quality of life, and to support broader economic development. He will set out the longer term ICS strategy and priorities, including the ongoing vaccine roll-out, recovering health and care services, and reducing health inequalities. He will be accountable for delivering improvements in the quality of patient care, patient safety, health inequalities, and  the health and well-being of staff while introducing new ways of working and improving financial health across North West London.

Rob takes over from Lesley Watts, who has successfully combined her role as Chief Executive at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust with being interim ICS Chief Executive.

Rob Hurd said:

“I am delighted to be joining the North West London health and care leadership community for the next critical stage of this partnership journey, to improve quality of life and reduce the inequalities facing our residents, service users, patients and staff. I look forward to working with NHS and local authority colleagues and our local residents to build on what has been achieved to date and address these critical challenges.”

Penny Dash, Chair of the North West London ICS, said:

“I want to congratulate Rob, who was appointed following a rigorous selection process. I am very much looking forward to working with him to deliver the best health and care we can for the residents of North West London while also tackling long standing inequalities in health and life expectancy. We are confident he will prove to be an excellent appointment.

“I also want to pay tribute to Lesley Watts, who has been acting as interim chief executive alongside her day job leading Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust. Lesley has done a fantastic job and I want to put on record my thanks to her for her leadership over the last two years, including outstanding leadership of the health and care system during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, said:

“I congratulate Rob on his appointment and he clearly brings valuable experience from his time in North Central London. We in local government look forward to working with him.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the real advantages of the whole system working together to meet the needs of local residents. Covid-19 has also shone a light on inequalities between different areas and communities, both within individual boroughs and across North West London as a whole.

“We need to work together in each borough and across North West London as a whole, to deliver the best possible care and outcomes for our residents. An important part of that will be making sure the resident voice is up front and centre in all that we do. I am sure that Rob will be as determined as we are to make this happen.”

Interim ICS Chief Executive and Chief Executive of Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, Lesley Watts said:

“I very much look forward to working with Rob as we move to the next stage of ICS development and work with our residents, councillors, clinicians and staff to tackle the big challenges ahead, including addressing the backlog of need created by the global pandemic and building a system that delivers outcomes on a par with the best global cities for the people of North West London.”

Sir David Sloman, Regional Director of the NHS in London, said:

“Rob Hurd is an experienced and effective leader and I’d like to congratulate him on his new appointment as Chief Executive for the North West London ICS.

“I look forward to working with Rob on the many opportunities we have across London to improve care, from reducing health inequalities, to supporting our workforce in new and innovative ways and building an even stronger collaborative health system.”

Notes to editors

* The Health and Care Bill is currently at Committee Stage and will be subject to detailed examination following its second reading. If approved, it will put ICSs –  formal partnerships between the NHS and local authorities to manage healthcare services across the whole area - on a statutory footing. The aim of ICSs is to better join up health and care, improve population health and reduce health inequalities. All NHS organisations and local authorities across North West London are already operating in partnership as an ICS, led by our independent Chair, Penny Dash, and interim Chief Executive, Lesley Watts.

As well as making ICSs statutory, the Health and Care Bill will set up Integrated Care Boards to lead NHS services in each area. For this reason, Rob Hurd will be appointed in the first instance as Chief Executive of the current Integrated Care System (ICS) and designate Chief Executive of the anticipated NHS Integrated Care Board (ICB).

The ICB will lead the NHS in North West London as part of the Integrated Care System (ICS). It will hold a substantial budget for commissioning high quality patient care and have the authority to establish performance arrangements to ensure this is delivered. 

CCGs will be abolished under the proposed legislation and their functions will transfer to the ICS and ICB.


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