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NHS loses two top finance chiefs to retirement

TWO of the most senior financial heavyweights in the NHS have announced their retirement.

Richard Douglas, director general of finance at the Department of Health, will leave at the end of May, while David Flory, the chief executive of the NHS Trust Development Authority, will also leave his post the same month.

Douglas is also head of the Government Finance Profession, a role he took up in 2011.

Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health, Una O’Brien, said: “I would like to express my deep personal appreciation for all the superb work that Richard has done on behalf of the government, Department of Health and NHS for nearly two decades. I have no doubt that his leadership style and personality will be missed right across the Department, the health and care system and the wider civil service.

“Richard has been one of DH’s brightest stars, serving nine secretaries of state as finance director and other senior roles since 1996.

“He has worked tirelessly with extraordinary skill and good humour. As well as being a highly respected and successful finance expert, I know that we will miss Richard’s warmth, unflappable nature and not to mention his encyclopaedic knowledge of NHS policy and finances.”

Meanwhile, David Flory has announced his decision to step down from his post at the General Election in May, having served than 20 years at board level within the NHS.

Flory, who led the NHS TDA since preparations began for its creation three years ago, said: “It’s been a great privilege to lead the NHS TDA over the last few years – we have a fantastic team who are wholly focussed on supporting NHS Trusts to deliver in an environment that is pretty challenging for providers.

“Having created the NHS TDA, and led it through a significant expansion over the last 12 months, I think the time is now right to give someone else the opportunity to lead the organisation in the future.”

Bob Alexander, current director of finance, will act as chief executive, with Elizabeth O’Mahony stepping up to the role of director of finance.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, said: “I have immensely valued David’s wise counsel, advice and judgement, and in particular his ability to find solutions to problems that often appear intractable. But most of all I have come to admire the values that lie underneath that ability: a real commitment to doing the right thing for patients and safer, more compassionate care. He will be greatly missed but leaves the TDA in excellent shape.”

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