Respected local NHS leader Mark Axcell has been formally appointed as substantive Chief Executive Officer for the Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB). 

Following a successful recruitment process, Mr Axcell, who has held the position on an interim basis since November, will now officially become CEO on 1 July when the new NHS organisation launches.  

Mr Axcell joins the ICB from his previous role as Chief Executive of Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, the local mental health and learning disabilities trust, and brings with him more than 25 years of NHS experience. 

Jonathan Fellows, Chair Designate of the ICB, led the CEO recruitment process. He said: “I am delighted to announce that Mark Axcell, who has already played a pivotal role in preparing for the launch of the ICB in July, will be staying with us to lead the new organisation. 

“Mark has been a phenomenal source of support not only to Black Country and West Birmingham CCG as it prepares for the exciting transition to becoming an ICB, but also to partners across the wider health and care system. 

“As well as bringing 25 years of experience and a true passion for health equality to the role, Mark has been working to assemble a talented and diverse ICB leadership team. I very much look forward to working with Mark and his team as we strive to deliver the best possible health outcomes for local people.” 

Following Royal Assent of the Health and Care Bill 2021, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will become Integrated Care Boards from 1 July. These will sit at the heart of Integrated Care Partnerships, which will bring together partners including health and care providers, public health, charities and businesses, to address the wide range of factors that affect local people’s health. 

Mr Axcell said: “During my time as Interim CEO Designate of the ICB, I have been truly impressed and inspired by the hard work of health and care staff across the Black Country and the shared dedication across the system to helping local people live healthier, happier lives. 

“I am delighted to have been appointed to the role of CEO and I look forward to working with partners to build on the great progress that has already been made in improving the health and wellbeing of our communities. 

“I feel strongly that by working together, we can make a real difference in reducing health inequalities and delivering the best possible services to people in the Black Country.” 

Mr Axcell has already assembled most of his ICB leadership team, with only the post of Chief Equalities and Innovation Officer still to be recruited to. More information about all the leadership roles and the people behind them, can be found here. 

Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which holds a “good” rating from the Care Quality Commission, will begin the process of recruiting a permanent CEO shortly. 

Jeremy Vanes, Chair at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “Mark led the successful merger of two organisations to create Black Country Healthcare, and in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. His experience and positive contribution to partnership working is now fully recognised across our region, and his appointment solidly confirms this appreciation.  

“Mark has been an exceptional first CEO for Black Country Healthcare and we look forward to the further evolution of the new partnership arrangements that will transform health and care services across the Black Country."