THE organisation that commissions healthcare services for more than 400 GPs in Somerset has a new boss.

James Rimmer will start work as chief executive of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) from the start of next month.

Mr Rimmer currently holds a similar post with Weston Area Health NHS Trust.

He has held a number of NHS executive posts, including at University Hospitals Bristol, Royal United Hospitals Bath and Yeovil District Hospital NHS foundation trusts, as well as at South Somerset Primary Care Trust.

He started his career in as a senior manager covering primary care in Avon Health Authority.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Rimmer said: "I am delighted to be joining Somerset CCG.

"I am looking forward to working with colleagues across the Somerset system as we continue the excellent work already underway on the Somerset health and care strategy."

Dr Ed Ford, chairman of the county's CCG, said: "James has a wealth of experience and expertise from provider organisations that will support us to further improve the way we work as a system to support the people of Somerset.

"We welcome James joining us and look forward to him becoming part of our team.

"It is an exciting opportunity to continue and accelerate our positive work and culture change that is already underway."

A spokesman for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the South West said: "James will be a good addition to Somerset CCG’s leadership team and will support them to continue the work underway in the system to improve care and services for the people of Somerset."

Dr Ford praised the "leadership and vision" of chief operating officer David Freeman has been acting chief officer since the departure of predecessor Nick Robinson.

"During this time, David led the organisation in making significant progress in improving the financial position in Somerset and making sure that health services are safe and available when people need them," added Dr Ford.

"David has ably led real change in our organisation and we are deeply appreciative of everything he has achieved.

"We are delighted that David will remain with us as we move forward together."