Mr Barnett has been acting chief executive for the past 10 months, during which a review of the organisation’s future direction has been completed.
NHS Confederation chairman Bryan Stoten said: ‘We agreed Steve has all the qualities and skills that such a complex and high profile job demands.’
Mr Barnett said: ‘The challenge now is take the NHS Confederation on to a new level, demonstrating leadership for our members, representing their interests on a national stage and influencing the policy debate about the future of health and social care.’
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