The search is on to find a new person to lead north Cumbria’s NHS health services.

It was announced yesterday that Stephen Eames is stepping down from his role as chief executive of North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, (NCIC) the newly-formed trust which runs the acute hospitals in Whitehaven and Carlisle, as well as managing community services, including maternity, stroke and A&E.

Instead, Mr Eames is expanding his work with the the North Cumbria Integrated Care System - which brings together all health services, including NHS England, NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, NHS Improvement, North West Ambulance Service and primary care - to take on the role as System Lead.

Since it was announced in May 2018 that north Cumbria was one of 14 national Integrated Care Systems, there has been a lot of work to provide more joined up care.

This includes the merger of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to become NCIC on October 1, and the transfer of mental health and learning disability services to specialist providers.

The trust says that by appointing a new chief executive for NCIC, it will allow a “clear focus on driving the new organisation forward”.

Mr Eames will focus on driving the ambitions of the NHS forward locally, including:

n Improving health – building care around our communities;

n Improving care – development of pathways and services, continuous quality improvement and joining up the work of the NHS with other partners;

n Sustainability – financial sustainability and building our workforce for the future.

North Cumbria is one of the first areas to introduce this type of role, and Mr Eames will also be undertaking a similar role in Humber Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership.

He said: “I am extremely proud of the progress we have made since I joined the NHS in Cumbria in January 2016, and I remain very committed to working in Cumbria.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work with our fantastic teams in my new role as well as working with the new chief executive when they are appointed.”

Mr Eames continued: “Over the past year we have made some vital changes to how we deliver services in Cumbria which are already benefitting our local communities and our staff including the introduction of Integrated Care Communities and the merger of the two provider trusts.

“It is important this work now makes further progression, which I will oversee in my new position.”

He will remain as chief executive at NCIC until his successor is appointed.

The news of Mr Eames’ departure comes as NCIC searches for 21 new governors to get involved and help shape the future direction of the trust and the services it runs.

Members can have a say in what is happening in the local community and feedback their views directly to the Board of Directors.

Carole Woodman, governor at NCIC, said: “It is a very exciting time to join NCIC as a governor: the trust’s merger is a step closer to the integrated health and social care we need.

“As an elected governor for Copeland I have been able to raise issues with the board that have led to improved outcomes for local members. The opportunity to be involved in Integrated Care Communities and Workshops has been valuable. I had the opportunity to take part in a visit to CIC maternity unit, to see the improvements and challenges faced first hand.

“The role is challenging and we will need to work harder in the future to engage better with members of the community but the governor role is a great opportunity to positively influence our local NHS.”

Professor Robin Talbot, chairman at NCIC, said: “Governors are a really important part of a foundation trust and play a vital role in helping to shape and monitor the trust’s services. Governors bring valuable insights and experiences to our services and ensure the NHS is accountable to its local population.

“As a governor you take part in a number of meetings and will be invited to take part in visits to our services alongside Non-Executive Directors. Very importantly, you appoint the Chair and Non-Executive Directors and hold them to account for the performance of the Board of Directors. You also represent the interests and views of our members and of the public.”

To nominate yourself, visit or request a paper version by contacting the Returning Officer.

The role includes:

Represent the interests of the members of the Trust as a whole and the interests of the public

Hold the Non-Executive Directors to account for the performance of the Board of Directors

Appoint, remove and decide the terms of office, including remuneration, of the Chair and other Non-Executive Directors

Appoint or remove the Trust’s External Auditors

Review the annual accounts, auditor’s report and annual report

Express a view on the Board of Directors’ forward plans

Election Vacancies include:

3 x Public Allerdale

4 x Public Carlisle

4 x Public Copeland

1 x Public Eden

2 x Public Furness

1 x Public North East England

1 x Public South Lakeland

2 x Staff Allerdale & Copeland

2 x Staff Carlisle & Eden

1 x Staff Furness & South Lakeland

The deadline for receipt of nominations is Monday 11th November. Once the nomination deadline closes, all nominations will be reviewed and if there are multiple nominees per constituency a ballot pack will be sent to out Trust members who will then vote. Voting closes on Thursday 19th December. An announcement of the elected governors will then be made.

All governors are volunteers; however travel expenses will be reimbursed.

To stand for election you must be a member of North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust within the Public Constituency or Class of the Staff Constituency for which you wish to stand as a candidate. If you are unsure, please contact the Returning Office or visit to check your local authority area.

Existing members will be receiving information either via email or through the post on how they can stand as a governor.