Simon Stevens (healthcare executive)
Simon Stevens is a British health manager and public policy analyst. His appointment as the eighth Chief Executive of the National Health Service in England with effect from 1 April 2014 was announced in October 2013, succeeding David Nicholson, he was said by the Health Service Journal in December 2013 to be the second most powerful person in the English NHS before he took up his appointment. He has stayed top of their list of the most influential people in health since. Simon Stevens was born in Birmingham, the son of a Baptist minister and a university administrator, he was educated at a state comprehensive, St. Bartholomew's School, won a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford University where he was president of the Oxford Union in the same academic year as friend Boris Johnson, he received an MBA from the University of Strathclyde and was a Harkness Fellow at Columbia University, New York. His wife, Maggie, is a public health specialist from New York City, their son was born on Christmas Day 2003 at St Thomas' Hospital and their daughter in 2008.
After university Stevens first worked in Guyana, from 1988 to 1997 as a healthcare manager in the UK and internationally. He started his NHS career on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme at Shotley Bridge General Hospital, the largest employer in Consett, County Durham after the closure of the steel works. After a spell in Congo and Malawi, he became general manager for a large NHS psychiatric hospital outside Newcastle-upon-Tyne, ran community mental health services for North Tyneside and Northumberland, he was appointed group manager of Guy's and St Thomas’ hospitals in London before moving to New York City Health Department. In 1997 he was appointed policy adviser to two successive Secretaries of State for Health at the UK Department of Health. From 2001 to 2004 he was health policy adviser to Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street. Stevens was a Labour councillor for Brixton, in the London Borough of Lambeth 1998–2002, he was associated with the development of the NHS Plan 2000. From 2004 to 2014 Stevens was a senior executive at UnitedHealth Group.
Appointed president of UnitedHealth Europe, he became CEO of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, corporate Executive Vice President and president of its global health businesses spanning the Americas, Europe and Africa. He was a director of Brazil's largest hospital group AMIL, he was instrumental in establishing a non-profit institute to publish information about inefficiency in the US health system. He served on the boards of various non-profits, including the Minnesota Historical Society; as the NHS England CEO, he is directly accountable to Parliament for management of £120 billion of annual NHS funding. He gives evidence to the Public Accounts Committee, the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee, other Parliamentary committees, he has used the statutory independence of NHS England to speak about NHS funding and reform. In January 2019 he welcomed new figures from the Office for National Statistics showing that NHS productivity in England has been rising at 3%, triple the performance of the overall UK economy.
On his return to the NHS, the Guardian reported one health expert as saying "He’s coming back to a pay cut the mother of all messes”. As of 2015, Stevens was paid a salary of between £190,000 and £194,999 by NHS England, making him one of the 328 most paid people in the British public sector at that time though each year he has opted for a voluntary £20,000 pay cut. According to Fraser Nelson, hiring Stevens back to run NHS England was one of the cleverest moves that David Cameron has made because he "knows more about NHS problems and market solutions than any man alive", he was responsible for the Five Year Forward View produced by NHS England in October 2014. This marked the beginning of a major shift in how NHS care is delivered, in contrast to NHS policy since 1991. Instead care is being redesigned to achieve the "triple integration" of primary and specialist care and mental health services, NHS and social care. Stevens has prioritised the modernisation of NHS primary care, mental health and cancer care having commissioned an independent national taskforce led by Sir Harpal Kumar the chief executive of Cancer Research UK.
In 2015 he commissioned the independent Five Year Forward View for mental health chaired by Paul Farmer the head of MIND. He subsequently directed that each year local mental health spending must rise faster than overall NHS funding growth. Given increasing concerns about young people’s mental health and eating disorders, he voiced concern on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show about cosmetic surgery adverts during ITV’s Love Island series. Shortly after, ITV’s chief executive agreed to reconsider the ads, the Advertising Standards Authority went on to ban them, he has suggested that social media companies might be asked to contribute to funding improved mental health support for young people. He has drawn attention to the growing problem of gambling addictions and the predominance of sports-related gambling promotions, he has announced a dedicated confidential national mental health support service for NHS doctors. He has argued that "obesity is the new smoking" and pushed for greater NHS, family and government action to tackle it.
Stevens initiated NHS England's work with local authorities and developers to'design in' health promoting built environments. These are now designated'NHS healthy new towns', he launched the obesity-reducing NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme and backed its national expan
The fit-and-proper-person test or director's test is a test aiming to prevent corrupt or untrustworthy people from serving on the board of certain organizations. First introduced in 2004 for owners and directors of major British football clubs, since November 2014 it applies to the National Health Service in England for board members of NHS Trusts under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 Regulations 2014. Directors of NHS Trusts can be deemed unfit if they have been involved in “serious misconduct or mismanagement”; the test is supervised by the Care Quality Commission but decisions are made by individual trusts. A Trust must be satisfied that its directors are: of good character - consideration must be given to previous convictions and removal from a professional register when assessing this. A trust must not “appoint or have in place” a director, responsible for, privy to, contributed to or facilitated any serious misconduct or mismanagement in the course of carrying on a regulated activity.
The CQC received referrals from campaigners and whistleblowers in January 2015 which alleged that more than 20 current and former NHS chief executives, medical directors and senior board level executives were unfit for their roles. The test, introduced in 2004, is mandated by the Premier League, the Football League, the National League and the Scottish Premier League. Anybody who takes over a club, runs one, or owns over 30% of its shares must be assessed; the first director known to have failed the test was Dennis Coleman, director of Rotherham United when they went into administration in 2006 and 2008. He claimed: "I in effect saved the club, it is unfair for me to be disqualified." In November 2009, Stephen Vaughan owner of Chester City, became the first owner to fail the test, after he was disqualified from being a director of any company. This was a result of VAT fraud as owner of Widnes Vikings rugby club, he transferred control of Chester to Stephen Vaughan, Jr.. In March 2012, Rangers owner Craig Whyte was found not to be a fit and proper person as the result of an independent enquiry.
In June 2014, Louis Tomlinson, former footballer and member of the boy band One Direction, John Ryan and previous Chairman of Doncaster Rovers, launched a bid to buy the club but one month Ryan was found not to be a fit and proper person due to a lack of funding. The Premier League has tighter restrictions than the Football National League. In general, a businessman will fail the test if: They have power or influence over another Football League club They hold a significant interest in another Football League club They become prohibited by law from being a director They are filing for bankruptcy They have been director of a club while it has suffered two or more unconnected events of insolvency They have been a director of two or more clubs of which, while they have been director, has suffered an event of insolvency Conn, David. "What is the'fit and proper person test'?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-09-29. "A fit and proper Premiership?". BBC. 2007-07-31. Retrieved 2010-09-29. CQC guidance