Paula Swann has been replaced as the chief executive of the Croydon NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, the CCG.
No official announcement has been made from the CCG’s offices in Fisher’s Folly, the council headquarters, although a member of staff this morning said that Swann had “left a few weeks ago”.
Swann was at the head of an organisation which oversees all the borough’s GP practices, part of the NHS’s “infernal [sic] market”, which they say is “responsible for commissioning (buying) health services for the residents of Croydon”.
Swann, a qualified accountant, was appointed to the job in April 2013. According to NHS pay scales, Swann’s job could have paid her up to £125,000.
On her watch, Croydon CCG was placed in special measures 12 months ago when unable to make the books balance while being forced to make significant cuts to spending, and Croydon became the first London borough to withdraw IVF fertility treatment from its residents as a means to meet its cuts targets.
Another controversial proposed cut, to providing formula milk to nursing infants with food allergies, was dropped, though, after campaigning by local mothers, backed by Inside Croydon.
When Swann was appointed, the CCG lauded her as having “significant experience of strategic and operational planning and delivery, performance improvement as well as financial leadership and expertise”. Swann’s profile remains on the Croydon CCG website, and no announcement of the circumstances of her departure has been made.
She had been expected to attend the CCG’s latest public meeting, held on May 25, although the minutes of that event have yet to be published.
In the interim, an accountant from Lambeth, Andrew Eyien, has been fulfilling the chief exec role, but only for a couple of days each week. That should save a few bob to put towards real health care.
Swann’s unheralded exit is not the only significant change to come at the top of Croydon CCG. Dr Tony Brzezicki, the chair of the CCG, is expected to stand down at its next meeting, on July 4, to be replaced by his current deputy, Dr Agnelo Fernandes.
Croydon CCG faces finding a further £36million-worth of cuts.
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