Health leaders are delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Axcell as Interim Chief Executive Designate for the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB).

Mr Axcell is currently Chief Executive of the local mental health and learning disabilities trust, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and has more than 25 years’ experience within the NHS.

He will take up the interim post from Monday (22 November) and will lead preparations for the launch of the new ICB next year, subject to the Health and Care Bill 2021 (which establishes Integrated Care Boards) receiving Royal Assent.

Jonathan Fellows, Chair Designate of the Black Country ICB, said: “Our system was recently part of a national process to appoint a Designate Chief Executive of the ICB, and we were not able to make a substantive appointment following that process.

“We are pleased to confirm that Mark Axcell, who is an experienced NHS leader, will now take on the full responsibilities of the role and will work with myself and partners to prepare for the formal establishment of the ICB in April 2022.”

Mark will replace current ICS leader Paul Maubach, who has led the ICS throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mark Axcell commented: “I am looking forward to working with partners to build upon the great progress that has already been made in improving the health and wellbeing of our communities.

“I want to thank Paul for his commitment and leadership in the development of Black Country’s Integrated Care System so far, and for paving the way for future work needed.

“I also want to thank our health and social care colleagues for going above and beyond and working tirelessly throughout the pandemic. Together we can make a real difference in reducing health inequalities, and delivering best possible services to people in the Black Country.”

Work will now begin to recruit Non-Executive Members and Executive Directors to the ICB, more details of which will be shared in due course.