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Former Nursing Times editor revealed as new NHS Confederation chief executive

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Niall Dickson, former editor of Nursing Times and until recently chief executive of the General Medical Council, has been appointed as the new boss of the NHS Confederation.

Mr Dickson, who was editor of Nursing Times for five years, from 1983-88, will take over as chief executive of the NHS Confederation on 1 February.

“It’s never been more important that we have a strong voice that represents the whole of the NHS”

Stephen Dalton

The confederation acts as a network and voice on policy for 85% of NHS organisations that provide or commission healthcare services.

It has nearly 500 members across health and social care, including hospitals, community and mental health providers, ambulance trusts and independent sector organisations providing NHS care. 

Mr Dickson announced he would be stepping down from his role at the GMC last January and left the medical regulator at the end of 2016. He had led the organisation since 2010.

Previously he had been chief executive of the King’s Fund think-tank, from 2004-09, and during his journalism career worked for the BBC as social affairs editor, after leaving Nursing Times.

Speaking on his new appointment, Mr Dickson said: “The health and social care system is under massive strain facing unprecedented demand and severely constrained funding.

NHS Confederation

Former NT editor revealed as new NHS Confederation chief exec

Niall Dickson

“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,” he said.

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

Mr Dickson will replace Stephen Dalton in the chief executive role. Mr Dalton said: “This is an excellent appointment and I’ve no doubt that Niall will provide the leadership and wise contribution that’s needed in these challenging times for the NHS.

“It’s never been more important that we have a strong voice that represents the whole of the NHS and I know members will want to get alongside Niall,” he said.

NHS Confederation chair Stephen Dorrell added: “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.”

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