New chief officer chosen for Jersey's Health Department

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THE head of a team of five consultants brought in to improve health services has now taken up the top role in the department, following the sudden departure of the chief officer.

Chris Bown – a health professional with more than 35 years’ experience in senior board-level leadership roles – will officially become chief officer of Health and Community Services tomorrow. He has been appointed on a 12-month fixed-term contract.

His appointment comes just three months after he was recruited to lead an external ‘change team’ of five brought into the Health Department in an effort to repair relationships between senior management and clinicians – at a cost of up to £200,000 over three months.

Mr Bown takes over from Caroline Landon, who is stepping down today alongside chief nurse Rose Naylor – whose replacement is yet to be selected. No reasons have been provided for their departure.

Mr Bown’s team was drafted in following a report published in August 2022 by Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor. It found serious issues with governance at the Hospital and raised major concerns over the management and working culture within the Health Department.

When the five-strong panel was announced in January, Health Minister Deputy Karen Wilson said that they would be tasked with enacting a ‘multifaceted change programme which addresses the deep-rooted cultural issues and ensures the provision of high-quality, safe, patient-centred care’.

Mr Bown’s new salary has not been revealed – though his predecessor’s total annual remuneration package was around £200,000.

Health Minister Karen Wilson said Mr Bown would help ‘continue the programme of work already underway to improve care and services for patients’ and ‘lead a talented and much-valued workforce’.

She also encouraged ‘senior nurse leaders’ in Jersey to consider the position of interim chief nurse, ‘as it offers a wonderful opportunity for development and the chance to bring their skills and talent to the role’.

Mr Bown said: ‘I’m pleased that I have the opportunity to effect the important changes needed to ensure the people of Jersey experience the very best in healthcare.

‘Since I started in Jersey at the beginning of the year, I have been impressed with the commitment and dedication of all staff that I have met.

‘There is clearly a significant opportunity to bring about positive change in HCS and I look forward to working with staff, Islanders and politicians to bring about these improvements.’

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