28 July 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
Duncan Eaton has left his post as chief executive of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (Pasa) after six years in the job.
He joined the organisation when it was formed in 2000 and was expected to stay until next summer. Eaton told SM
that after 40 years with the health service and turning 60, he had an opportunity to move on and took it.
However, sources close to him said privately he has reservations about some aspects of proposed changes, which will see much of the buying handled by Pasa outsourced to a private-sector consortium led by the German logistics firm DHL.
Pasa said Eaton helped the agency deliver more than £1.5 billion of savings and raise professional procurement standards across the NHS.
Ken Anderson, the Department of Health's commercial director, said in an internal Pasa statement: "Duncan has made a significant contribution to the modernisation and improvement of the NHS supply chain - a legacy that we must build upon if we are to meet the needs of a service that is changing rapidly."
Rob Knott, a former director of procurement at Ernst & Young and interim at the Metropolitan Police and Department for Work and Pensions who joined Pasa as chief operating officer in the spring, is understood to be leading the agency. Its future role within the NHS has yet to be settled.
Eaton, a past president of CIPS, plans to work for a few more years before retiring and is currently weighing up his options. He has already accepted one position - a non-executive directorship with BiP Solutions, an events management, training and consultancy business which provides public-sector contract information.