GP Richard Sandford-Hill is to take over the top health job in Wiltshire as a major shake-up for hospitals looms.

Dr Sandford-Hill who is senior partner at Market Lavington Surgery, near Devizes, will become chairman of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group when Peter Jenkins stands down on September 30 after three years.

Dr Sandford-Hill said: "Health services in Wiltshire need to adapt to current and future demand and population trends. I’m convinced that by continuing to work closely with our partners across health and social care services, as well as voluntary organisations, we will be able to provide strong, sustainable health and care services now and for future generations."

It was announced this summer that massive changes to health services in west Wiltshire and Devizes are planned as part of a £52 million shake up of hospitals.

The commissioning group announced that its governing body has approved a strategic outline case for the area that will include a new hospital which will be known as a hub, and have inpatient beds and probably a maternity unit, a smaller hospital to provide community healthcare services for outpatients and three urgent care centres.

It is now putting together a more detailed plan of where services should be positioned before going out to consultation.

Dr Sandford-Hill was elected through a majority vote process by Wiltshire GPs, who make up the CCG membership of 50 practices, and will be responsible for shaping the strategic direction of the CCG together with members of its governing body.

Dr Jenkins said: “I’m proud to have been part of helping to develop health services that are aligned to the needs and demands of a growing and increasingly ageing population, now and into Wiltshire’s future.

"Much has changed since I began my clinical career a number of years ago, but what remains unwavering, regardless of what job people do within the NHS, is the commitment to delivering the best possible health care, with patients at the centre."

Dr Sandford-Hill said: “I’m delighted to take up this new opportunity. Having spent four years as a Governing Body member of the CCG, I have a sound understanding of the organisation and of the issues we face and am committed to ensuring that the CCG is in the best possible position to enable the delivery of our objectives”.

Dr Sandford-Hill will continue working at Market Lavington Surgery and his patients will not see any difference to his schedule.

Linda Prosser, Interim Chief Officer at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “I know that Richard will bring a renewed energy to leading the CCG."