One of the founders of the NHS Alliance has stepped down from his role as chief executive to allow “new life” into the organisation as the new clinical commissioning era is set to come of age.
While the government’s Health and Social Care Bill has had a bumpy ride through parliament, it looks set to gain royal assent by early May.
Michael Sobanja told MiP he felt the passing of the bill meant it was “time to go”.
“The passing of the bill gave me a chance to revaluate my future,” he said.
“I have many other interests, including consultancy work and wanted to give the organisation the chance to have some new blood in this new era of the NHS.”
He praised the work of NHS Alliance Chair Dr Michael Dixon, and said he has “every faith” that under new leadership, the organisation will continue to grow.
In light of Sobanja’s departure after 14 years with the organisation, Rick Stern has been appointed the new chief executive for the NHS Alliance from April 2012. Stern will work alongside Julie Wood, NHS Alliance¹s National Director of Clinical Commissioning, as part of a new leadership team, reporting to Dr Dixon.
Sobanja said the new leadership team reflects “the NHS Alliance’s ambition to become a key representative body and increase its influence”.
“The NHS Alliance has grown enormously over the years,” he said.
“It started as a lobby group on the sidelines but quickly became a force to be reckoned with – and that force was shown in the great influence it had over the legislation.”
Sobanja will continue his involvement with the NHS Alliance as a Policy Director and will work on a part-time basis to aid continuity.
“Michael Sobanja has been a truly brilliant chief executive,” said Dr Dixon.
“Having co-founded the NHS Alliance 14 years ago, he has tirelessly led the organisation with a calm and skilful brain. He has not only been immense fun to work with, but also clearly demonstrated why he is regarded as one of the best senior managers of his time.
“Michael will be a difficult act to follow, which is why we recruited the very best from those who have proved themselves within and outside the NHS Alliance.”