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ECH finds new CEO in top health bureaucrat

Top health bureaucrat, Dr David Panter, has been announced as the new chief executive of ECH, one of South Australia’s largest retirement living and aged care providers.

<p>Top health bureaucrat, Dr David Panter, has been announced as the new chief executive of ECH, one of South Australia's largest retirement living and aged care providers.</p>

Top health bureaucrat, Dr David Panter, has been announced as the new chief executive of ECH, one of South Australia's largest retirement living and aged care providers.

Chairman of ECH, Dr Tom Stubbs, says Dr Panter will join ECH in March to replace Rob Hankins, who will retire after almost 14 years in the role.

Dr Panter has for 10 years occupied senior leadership roles in SA Health, most recently as chief executive of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network and project director for the new Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH). 

He has shouldered ongoing criticism from medical groups about its size, design and what services it would offer.

Last year he toured Scandinavia and London as part of a delegation investigating how four European hospitals handled a move to a new site, as the RAH will do in 2016.

He leaves SA Health as its chief executive for Central Adelaide Local Health Network, where he led an organisation of more than 10,000 staff on multiple sites and
oversaw the transition to the new RAH.

In the UK, Dr Panter's health and local government leadership featured a strong focus on the provision of aged services. He was for several years a member of then Prime Minister Tony Blair’s National Older Person’s Task Force.

“ECH is thrilled to find and appoint a leader of the calibre of David Panter to take over from Rob Hankins,” Dr Stubbs says.

“Dr Panter has unique experience as a senior executive in public sector health and community services at the national, regional and local level in both the UK and Australia. He has an outstanding record of performance in health and ageing, most recently managing an organisation of more than 10,000 staff with a one and a half billion dollar budget.

“His project leadership of the new RAH underscores his capacity to manage major infrastructure projects and private-public sector relationships. Above all, Dr Panter has a passion for the delivery of high quality services to the community.”

Dr Stubbs also pays tribute to Mr Hankins who led ECH’s transformation into a leading, innovative provider of retirement homes and community based services.

“Rob Hankins can be truly proud of what he has achieved as our leader since 2001… all of us at ECH are in his debt,” Dr Stubbs says.

“Under Mr Hakins leadership, ECH sharpened its focus on affordability and re-invented itself to better meet the evolving needs of the next generation of retirees.”

Mr Hankins will continue to be available as required to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

ECH’s move to dedicate itself to community focused, home, centre based and wellness services and independent-living retirement villages was confirmed last year with the strategic divestment of its residential aged care centres in South Australia and the Northern Territory. It reportedly freed significant funds for investment in ‘ageing at home’.

“ECH’s focus and response is to give more people the opportunity and flexibility to decide where they receive the care and support they require as they age,” Dr Stubbs says.

Speaking on the opportunity to lead ECH, Dr Panter describes it as a “challenge too good to miss”.

“ECH is ideally positioned to respond to the challenges and ever-changing needs of older people,” he says.

“Managing and responding to the aging of baby boomers will create increased demand for ECH and its services. The delivery of community based services that enable people to age where they choose to live is a clear objective of ECH that I wholly endorse.”

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