London SHA fills top position

The newly formed London Strategic Health Authority has ­drafted in St George's NHS Trust director of comms Tim Jones to lead PR on an interim basis.

Jones will help the authority - temporarily stationed near Green Park - design a pan-London health strategy. It will involve a major public engagement and stakeholder relations exercise with the Greater London Authority, hospitals, frontline staff and doctors.

‘Public engagement will be important and we won't just be going through the usual ­processes', said Jones.

Reporting to the authority's interim chief executive Ruth Carnall, Jones is looking to fill two interim comms manager roles and help recruit a permanent team.

It is not yet known what will happen to PROs at the five soon-to-be-abolished SHAs that cover London.

‘Ultimately we will need a central London SHA comms team, but we do not want to lose the valuable local knowledge that each of the individual SHAs have,' Jones added.

When the project is complete, Jones will return to his post at St George's, where he manages a team of five and reports to chief executive Marie Grant.

London Communications Agency carried out a perception audit of the imminent merger of London's SHAs earlier this year.

It concluded the LSHA would be seen by the public as too big and unresponsive to ­local needs.

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