04 July 2002 | Liam O'Brien
The Department of Health (DoH) is set to appoint a procurement supremo to head a major shake-up in NHS spending.
The holder of the newly created post of commercial director, to be named in the next few weeks, will be paid up to £95,325 - more for an "exceptional" candidate - and report directly to the DoH's finance director.
The creation of a new commercial division follows health minister Lord Hunt's attack on procurement standards in the NHS as "unacceptable".
In April's budget, chancellor Gordon Brown announced a 43 per cent increase in NHS spending over five years, coupled with measures to make sure the extra money was well spent.
The incoming commercial director will be in charge of a 50-strong team, including 30 transferred from the DoH's private finance initiative (PFI) section and 20 newly created jobs.
The commercial division will be changed with giving procurement more focus and bringing together activities currently managed separately, include PFI schemes, hospital building, private-sector relationships and IT procurement.
The division is planned to also oversee the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (Pasa) and NHS Estates.
A DoH spokesman said: "Although both Pasa and NHS Estates will retain their own chief executives, the new commercial director will have overall responsibility for the performance management of both organisations."