After several months of speculation it appears that the new Head of Equality and Health Inequalities (E&HI) for NHS England will be another health policy specialist, Ruth Passman.
The appointment is very much in line with predictions I previously made about the role.
Public health specialist
Passman, who will be reporting to the NHS England E&HI Directors Professor Steve Field and Paula Vasco-Knight, was a Senior Health Policy Advisor for Government Office North West until the regional Government Offices were disbanded by the coalition government in 2010.
Following the dissolution of GONW, Passman became a Senior Policy Advisor for the North West Public Health Team. Her portfolio included the development and implementation of regional health strategy and the support and co-ordination of health input to regional partnerships.
Ruth has also held the regional lead on Sustainable Development across the former North West Strategic Health Authority and the regional office of the Department of Health, where she led the North West Regional response to developing and implementing a Carbon Reduction Action Plan.
Holding the Local Area Agreement health and social care portfolio lead for the North West, Ruth has been closely involved in the development and implementation of the North West region's Local Area Agreements and their health and social care reward targets.
Ruth's career has included working in the voluntary sector, health and academia where she taught social policy, cultural studies and sociology.
In the field of health and regeneration, Ruth has acted at Director and Chief Executive level, establishing and leading organisations and renewal programmes.
The new appointment is for two days each week … a model already established in the E&HI team, where the national lead for equality, Paula Vasco-Knight, also works just one day a week.
It is believed that these part time appointments are favoured because of a severe lack of budget … a fact revealed by the other national lead, Steve Field, in a recent Guardian interview.
For the other three days each week Ruth will continue to fulfil her existing role in Public Health England.