A new Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) has been appointed to lead the Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES), Swindon and Wiltshire (BSW) Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP).

Chris Bown, has a strong leadership record within the NHS.  He started his career at St Thomas’ and Guy’s Hospitals in London.   He took up his first executive level post at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 1991 as Director of Operations and subsequently has held trust Chief Executive posts in Suffolk and Dorset. Chris has, since 2014, also undertaken freelance management consultancy and interim CEO executive assignments both in the UK and overseas.

Chris will be leading the work of the 21 partner organisations which make up the BSW STP (see Notes to Editors) to ensure that its priorities are delivered.

The BSW STP priorities are:

·         To provide improved person-centred care by strengthening and integrating the specialist services that support primary care

·         To shift the focus of care from treatment to prevention and proactive care – ageing well, healthy lifestyles, self-management and specialist support in the community

·         To redefine the ways we work together as organisations to deliver improved individual/patient care

·         To ensure we offer staff an attractive career and build a flexible, sustainable workforce

·         To strengthen collaboration across organisations to directly benefit acute and urgent care services

Speaking about his appointment, Chris said: “I am really pleased to be joining the BSW STP. We have a real opportunity to work differently across a large geography to align the skills and expertise that exists within all of our partner organisations and deliver better, higher value health and social care for our population.  The BSW STP has already delivered, and is continuing to implement, a number of projects which have, and will, improve services and care provided and I look forward to working with the team on further initiatives to reshape the way we work and deliver care.

“Earlier this year the BSW STP was rated ‘advanced’ in its first annual progress assessment by NHS England and I join the team as we plan to build on this rating and move towards ‘outstanding’. I recognise that there is still a great deal of work to be done to achieve the objectives set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View but putting the patient at the centre of health and social care is a key priority for this STP.”

In July NHS England published its first annual progress assessments for Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP). The BSW STP was rated ‘advanced’. This is the second of four bandings that follows ‘outstanding’ and is ahead of ‘making progress’ and ‘needs most improvement.’ The ratings are a baseline assessment, which take into account a range of metrics including local A&E waiting times, referral to treatment times, performance in the areas of cancer and mental health and the local financial position. NHS England assessors also took into account how well organisations are working together as part of their local STP.

Chris said: “While I welcome the rating by NHS England I fully recognise that this was an assessment of the starting position of the work by the STP rather than how effective it has been up until this point in delivering quality improvements and efficiencies. The BSW STP is still at an early stage of the journey to transform services for everyone’s benefit and the involvement of our local communities, patients, clinicians and other stakeholders will be critical to achieving this.

“In recent months there have been significant changes to the BSW STP team, but I firmly believe we are in a position to move forward and deliver results.”

Since 2014, Chris has undertaken Interim Chief Executive roles at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, East Kent University NHS FT, and The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust he also acted as Managing Director for The County Hospital Stafford. He spent 11 months working with KPMG Bahamas as part of an international team to provide advice to The Bahamian Government on the implementation of National Health Insurance.


The BSW STP has had an Interim SRO in place since the summer and Chris will begin his role on Monday 6 November.