Social enterprise chairman to take on new role at GP group

Paul Steward. Photo: ECCH

Paul Steward. Photo: ECCH - Credit: ECCH

The chairman of East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) Paul Steward has been appointed as chief executive officer of Iceni Healthcare, the federation of independent GP practices in Norfolk and Waveney.

Mr Steward, who has held the post of chairman since ECCH was formed in 2011, took over from Iceni's former chief executive John Fraser on August 1.

Iceni supports practices and uses its size to reduce expenses and negotiate the best possible deals with a range of suppliers. It delivers a number of workstreams as part of the 0-19 Healthy Child Programme across Norfolk and has worked in partnership with Health Education England in establishing 315 apprenticeships in primary care.

Mr Steward worked for 13 years in the NHS managing community services before moving into strategic roles at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, followed by the Strategic Health Authority in Cambridge.

He has been a member of the chairs' oversight group of the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Norfolk and Waveney. He also chairs the Norfolk and Norwich Scope Association and Norwich Community West education cluster and sits on the Board of Norfolk Community Law Service.

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Primary care has a crucial role to play in ensuring high quality health and care services are provided for the population of Norfolk and Waveney as a key element of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

'With the move towards new ways of working seeing health, social care and third sector organisations working together to provide integrated services, primary care has a key role in being at the heart of this holistic approach. Iceni will be able to operate at scale and can be a co-ordinated voice for primary care in the Norfolk and Waveney system.'

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Mr Fraser added: 'I am delighted that Paul will be leading Iceni during this time of significant change in the way health and care services are planned, managed and delivered, Paul brings a wealth of experience to the role from the NHS, the commercial world and the Third Sector and we wish him every success.'

During his tenure at ECCH the organisation saw many changes – both clinical and organisational – including the introduction out of hospital teams, the award of Norfolk-wide contracts for smoking cessation and speech and language therapy, the launch of a nursery in Beccles for pre-school children and the purchase of a headquarters at Hamilton House in Lowestoft bringing many of ECCH's staff under one roof for the first time.

Mr Steward said: 'It has been a privilege to lead ECCH over the past six years. ECCH's many achievements are down to a strong team working together to provide the best health and care services to local communities. ECCH is different and special; as a staff owned social enterprise our mantra has always been that if we get the quality right everything else will follow. I would like to thank all my colleagues for their support over the years and for the fantastic job they do every day. Whilst I am sorry to be leaving them I am confident that ECCH will go from strength to strength.'

ECCH non-executive director Tony Osmanski will be interim chairman of ECCH until a new chairman is appointed.

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