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Exclusive: Conservative peer appointed Monitor's interim chair

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The government has appointed Conservative peer and former minister Baroness Hanham as the interim chair of health sector regulator Monitor.

Baroness Hanham, a former leader of Kensington & Chelsea RBC, was chairman of St Mary’s Hospital Trust from 2000 to 2007 and was a minister in the Department for Communities & Local Government from 2010 until last year’s autumn reshuffle.

Members of the Commons’ health select committee were informed of her appointment late last week, HSJ understands. MPs were told a permanent appointment was likely to be made in autumn this year. There is not due to be a pre-appointment hearing by the committee, because the appointment is on an interim basis.

Baroness Hanham’s appointment comes after a previous permanent appointment, Royal Free Foundation Trust chair Dominic Dodd, withdrew his name in October. That was in response to the health committee voting against his appointment following a hearing.

David Bennett has been Monitor chief executive since 2010, when he was appointed as an interim, and was also appointed as its chair in February 2011. His chief role was made permanent in 2012, and he will remain in that post.

Baroness Hanham’s appointment means the chairs of both main health regulators are Conservatives. Care Quality Commission chair David Prior is a former Tory MP and former chief executive of the party.

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