Post-Shipman health body hires PR director

The National Clinical Assessment Authority, the health watchdog set

up in the aftermath of the Dr Harold Shipman trial, has named its first

director of communications.

Currently head of press and parliamentary affairs at the British Dental

Association, Kate Cinamon has been seconded by the NHS to head

communications for its first six months.

Cinamon will report to the authority's medical director Alastair

Scotland and chair Jane Wesson and has a brief to put in place a full

communications strategy.

The NCAA has been charged with monitoring doctors, providing a fast

response to concerns about performance. It also gives training and

support to doctors and may cover dentists in the future.

It was set up following the murder trial of Dr Harold Shipman, who is

believed to have killed as many as 345 of his patients, and concerns

raised in the Chief Medical Officer's report 'Supporting Doctors,

Protecting Patients', about the way complaints regarding doctors are


Cinamon said: 'I am very much looking forward to the challenge of

working for a high-profile body whose role is to ensure the public have

the highest possible trust in the medical profession.

'It will also be exciting to be involved with the authority from its

first day of operation and to play an integral role in the way it

communicates to the NHS, the professions and the public,' she added.

Cinamon has been in her role at the BDA for six years and takes up the

secondment on 1 April, the day the authority starts operating.

BDA press and parliamentary officers Anjuli Veall and Jo Tanner will

have increased duties in Cinamon's absence. Media consultant and dentist

Dr Jacinta Teo is also being brought in for the next six months, as is a

yet-to-be-appointed press and parliamentary assistant.

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