The Information Centre (IC) for health and social care has appointed Tim Straughan, current acting chief executive, as its chief executive.

Announcing the appointment, Mike Ramsden, chairman of The IC said: “I’m delighted to announce Tim’s appointment and believe he is the right person to lead The IC as it works to provide even greater support to frontline staff charged with improving services for patients.”

As a key part of his role, Straughan is has also been confirmed as senior responsible officer for the troubled Secondary Uses Service (SUS) – which provides management information to the NHS. The IC is responsible for delivering SUS in partnership with NHS Connecting for Health as part of the National Programme for IT.

SUS is vital for delivery of key policies such as payment by results and practice based commissioning, but has been subject to repeated delays and data reporting problems.

The SUS is the single repository of person and care event level data relating to the NHS care of patients, which is used for management and clinical purposes other than direct patient care. Secondary uses include healthcare planning, commissioning, public health, clinical audit, benchmarking, performance improvement, research and clinical governance.

Commenting on his appointment, Tim Straughan said: “I passionately believe that high-quality information can have a real impact on improving services. Because of that, I want The IC to be even more tightly focussed on delivering relevant, high-quality information to frontline practitioners to enable people like GPs, consultants and nurses, as well as local managers, to improve services and care for local people.”

Straughan had been acting chief executive of the IC since July 2007, following the resignation of Professor Denise Lievesley in July, he had previously been the IC’s director of finance and corporate services and deputy chief executive since April 2005.

Professor Lievesley resigned after completing two years in the job, overseeing the move of hundreds of staff to Leeds. She steered the IC through turbulent times facing criticism on the IC’s behalf from the National Audit Office for the decision to strike a controversial joint venture with Dr Foster Intelligence.

Prior to joining the IC Straughan was acting chief executive of NHS Estates, prior to that, the agency’s finance director. He’d previously worked for Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, developing a specialist knowledge of private finance initiatives and public private partnership.

According to the IC Straughan is a chartered accountant, who trained with KPMG. He is also a qualified dentist with experience of working in general practice, hospital and community facilities.


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