Nigel Crisp has announced that he is to step down from his post as chief executive of the NHS and permanent secretary at the Department of Health at the end of the month.
Crisp is taking early retirement after more than five years in the role during which time he oversaw the implementation of the first half of the ten-year NHS Plan.
He said that he had timed his departure to enable new leaders to be appointed in the department at the same time as in strategic health authorities and primary care trusts. These new appointments are brought about by changes to NHS commissioning outlined in under the Commissioning a Patient Led NHS report published last July.
Crisp added that he was “saddened” by the financial problems the NHS was currently grappling with. “As chief executive, I wish to acknowledge my accountability for problems just as I may take some credit for achievements,” he said.
Crisp was the first civil servant to combine the previously separate role of chief executive of the NHS and permanent secretary at the DH. Ian Carruthers is set to become acting chief executive and Hugh Taylor will become acting permanent secretary.
Carruthers has been chief executive of the Dorset and Somerset Strategic Health Authority and chief executive of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight SHA. Taylor is currently group director of strategy and business development at the DH.