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24th Jun, 2021

What a career: From volunteer to chief executive to Covid fighter

THE man who first worked as a health service volunteer before climbing to become chief executive of NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has announced his retirement.

Paul Jennings, who is also leader of the Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System (ICS), will be leaving after clocking up more than 40 years of service.

During his career he has played a vital role in the development of health services not only in Birmingham and Solihull but the wider Midlands region and beyond.

Starting out as a volunteer when he was a teenager, before securing his first NHS job as a holiday relief orderly for a psychiatric unit, his vast experience spans the breadth of the NHS.

A champion for reducing health inequalities, he helped paved the way for work which continues across all health and care partners in the area to make the local NHS more accessible for all.

Paul in fact should have retired last year but recognising the immense challenges Covid-19 he stayed on to support the NHS to respond as effectively as possible.

“It’s been a real privilege to work in what I believe is the cornerstone of moral values across this country, and one of its biggest triumphs: our NHS.

“But I have been especially honoured to work as the CCG’s chief executive for the last four years.

“I have met some wonderful people and have seen first-hand the commitment and passion our clinical and non-clinical staff alike have for providing the very best care for our patients and communities no matter what challenges might face us,” said Paul, who will be retiring in September.

Dame Yve Buckland, chair of the Birmingham and Solihull ICS, said: “There are few people working in health and social care in our region who do not know Paul Jennings.

“He has been unwavering in his commitment and dedication to reducing health inequalities and in making sure the services we deliver are the very best they can be for the people who need them.

“Nothing has highlighted this more than his leadership over the last year, as we have faced down what has been one of the most challenging times in the history of the NHS.

“I would like to personally thank him for all the contributions he has made during his long and successful career, and wish him a happy and well-deserved retirement.”

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