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Former head of doctors’ regulator to lead NHS Confederation

Niall Dickson to lead NHS organisations’ representative body

Adrian O'Dowd

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Niall Dickson, former chief executive of doctors’ regulator the General Medical Council (GMC) has been appointed as the new chief executive of the NHS Confederation.

Mr Dickson will begin his new position as head of the body that represents most NHS provider organisations and commissioners from next month, replacing outgoing chief executive Stephen Dalton.

Prior to his role as chief executive for the GMC between 2010 and 2016, Mr Dickson was chief executive of think tank The King's Fund, social affairs editor at the BBC, and editor for Nursing Times magazine.

During his time at the GMC, Mr Dickson was involved in delivering various reforms including:

  • an expansion of the GMC’s responsibilities for medical education and training
  • the introduction of revalidation in 2012
  • the introduction of language checks for doctors from Europe in 2014
  • the establishment of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service to allow a clear separation between the GMC’s investigation of complaints and the adjudication of hearings.

NHS Confederation chairman Stephen Dorrell said: “This appointment is a major coup for the NHS Confederation and will add enormous value to the myriad of skills and experience we already possess at this organisation.

“Niall will help ensure the NHS Confederation remains the first port-of-call when the health service needs a voice, binding in the highest levels of experience and influence across the full spectrum of health and care services.”

Mr Dickson said: “The health and social care system is under massive strain facing unprecedented demand and severely constrained funding. It’s a great privilege to join the Confederation as it works with its members and partners to deliver better, safer care and the fundamental reforms that are needed to make the system sustainable.

“These are monumental challenges and there has never been a more important time for its various parts to come together locally and nationally.”

Picture: Niall Dickson. Source: NHS Confederation.

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