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MPs reject health secretary’s choice for top job at Monitor

MPs have refused to endorse the health secretary’s choice for the new chair of the competition regulator Monitor.

Dominic Dodds, who is currently the chair of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, was announced as the preferred candidate to replace Dr David Bennett by health secretary Jeremy Hunt two weeks ago after a six-month search.

But members of the House of Commons Health Committee said that they did not think he was the right person to manage Monitor.

The post of chair of Monitor is subject to a pre-appointment scrutiny by the committee. However, the decision on whether to appoint a candidate remains a decision for ministers.

The health committee’s response read: ‘The hearing addressed Mr Dodd’s background, previous experience and views on the challenges facing Monitor, its new chair and board. We examined Mr Dodd’s views on Monitor’s new responsibilities established under the Health and Social Care Act 2012. We also asked Mr Dodd to discuss how, if appointed, he would expect the relationship between Monitor’s executive and the board to evolve.’

They added: ‘This has been a period of great uncertainty for Monitor, with the nature of its role in the new system being unclear for most of the 18 months between the introduction of the Bill in January 2011 and its passing in 2012. Dr Bennett has both shaped and interpreted the role that Monitor now plays in the system which makes the transition to another individual taking on the chair an especially difficult one. We do not think Mr Dodd is the right person to undertake that difficult transition. On this basis we do not endorse Mr Dodd’s appointment.’

According to his profile on the Royal Free London website, Mr Dodd has a background as an executive director of foreign-aid fund the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation as well as in strategy consultancy, as managing partner of Marakon Associates. He also currently holds board roles, including for Irish financial services and banking group Permanent TSB.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘We have received the Health Select Committee report and will announce the next steps shortly.’