Key Primary Care Network appointment announced by NHS Confederation

Niall Dickson

The NHS Confederation has appointed Ruth Rankine as its PCN Development Director. Ruth is currently deputy chief inspector of general practice at the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 

The Confederation, in coalition with national partners, is planning to set up an independent platform for Primary Care Network (PCN) leaders to support them to influence national policy development and to provide opportunities for them to exchange views and experiences, and reflect and engage with others on the issues that affect them. 

Ruth will work closely with PCN leaders to understand their needs and to give them a voice so that these needs can be met. 

Commenting on her appointment, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ruth to the team. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of primary care and of operating at a national level. 

“The success of the NHS Long Term Plan for England depends to a great degree on embracing population health, bringing local services together, and ending the isolation and underfunding of primary care.  

“At the Confederation, we see PCNs as a vital part of this, and with Ruth’s support, we aim to make sure they have a voice on the national stage.”

Ruth said: “I’m looking forward to joining the NHS Confederation at such an exciting time. PCNs have a key role to play in the NHS landscape, working across primary care and improving the health of their populations. The work of the Confederation, alongside other partner organisations, will ensure that PCNs have sufficient influence nationally, as well as in their local systems.” 

During her time at CQC, Ruth led on the regulation of general practice, set up the first regulatory programme for online providers and established an inspection programme for military health services. 

She also has extensive senior management experience in the civil service and the NHS, including at board level for providers and commissioners. Before she joined the CQC, Ruth was director of strategy at NHS Direct for more than six years. She worked in the Department of Health for more than ten years, latterly as principal private secretary to the NHS chief executive and the permanent secretary.  

Ruth holds a degree in business and languages and is vice-chair of Carers First, a charity supporting carers in Lincolnshire, Essex, London, Kent, and Medway.

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