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Health chief named as permanent boss of Shropshire CCG

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Shropshire's troubled health organisation has named its new chief officer.

Dr Simon Freeman has been appointed as the new accountable officer for Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group – subject to ratification by NHS England.

Dr Simon Freeman

Dr Freeman has been leading the group as acting accountable officer since October last year.

Shropshire CCG, the organisation that commissions health services in the region, was put under formal "directions" last year by NHS England to address its financial problems.

NHS England has been working with Shropshire CCG to strengthen its governance and leadership, and to address its financial deficit.

In 2015/16 the trust ended the year with an in-year deficit of £14.75 million and carried forward a recurrent deficit of £20.2 million.

It is currently heading for a £26 million deficit in the current financial year.

Dr Freeman previously worked as accountable officer and managing director of NHS Leicester City CCG.

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Prior to this he was the director of commissioning for both Leicester City PCT and Leicestershire County and Rutland PCT.

He has also undertaken a number of IT director roles in the NHS in both commissioners and hospital trusts.

Dr Freeman tweeted "delighted and proud to have been offered the role. The future looks bright".

He has worked with the NHS for the last 11 years joining from Ernst & Young's strategy & transformation practice where he focused on financial services, bringing 10 years' experience of working for NatWest Group.

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David Evans, who is accountable officer at Telford CCG and is also heading up the Future Fit review of the county's hospitals, had been brought in as interim accountable officer at Shropshire CCG in April last year following serious concerns from NHS England over the organisation's finances.

However, due to what Shropshire CCG said were "considerable financial challenges", Mr Evans left the post in October last year and was replaced by Dr Freeman.

He has been leading the group as acting accountable officer since then.

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