Healthwatch announces new CEO with limited job prospects

Healthwatch Croydon, the watchdog for local health services, has appointed an interim chief executive, even though the body does not have any guarantee of funding beyond next March.

Jai Jayaraman: short-term prospects at Healthwatch

Jai Jayaraman: short-term prospects at Croydon Healthwatch

With the NHS Trust which runs Mayday Hospital and Croydon CCG, the commissioning group which oversees local GP practices, both currently under special measures under NHS England, and with millions of pounds’ worth of additional cuts being imposed on NHS patients in Croydon, the need for a body representing the interests of patients has probably never been greater.

But Healthwatch Croydon’s own budget is uncertain, with its £200,000 annual funding package having dried up and no guarantee that it will be able to pay for its functions in future.

It was this funding uncertainty which is suggested prompted the resignation announcement from Healthwatch’s CEO, Charlie Ladyman, in September.

This predicament was underlined in the final paragraph of the announcement yesterday of the appointment of Jai Jayaraman, issued by Croydon Healthwatch, which said, “This is an Interim Chief Executive role which will run until 31 March 2017, which is the end of the current commissioning period. A permanent role will be created once recommissioning is confirmed.”

Or not, as the case may be.

Jayaraman begins what could well be a five-month winding-up role on Monday morning.

He arrives at Croydon Healthwatch following a 19-year career in both third sector organisations and private sector companies, including seven years as chief executive of Lambeth Mediation. He has also worked for Oxfam and Amnesty International.

He is also, apparently, a master at understatement. “I am delighted to be joining Healthwatch Croydon at what is an interesting and challenging time for the organisation,” Jayaraman said.

“We need to ensure residents’ views on health and social care continue to effectively influence delivery of services for the better,” was the comment proferred by John Davey, Healthwatch Croydon’s chairman.

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