Chair of NHS Resolution (VAC-1674)

Body: NHS Resolution
Appointing Department: Department of Health and Social Care
Sector: Health and Social Care
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £63,000 per annum
Time Requirements: 2 to 3 days per week


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Martin Thomas has been appointed as Chair of NHS Resolution for three years from 1 January 2021.

The appointment will involve a time commitment of 2 to 3 days per week. Remuneration for the role will be at a rate of £63,000 a year.

This appointment is made in accordance with the Cabinet Office Code of Governance for Public Appointments. The regulation of public appointments against the requirements of this code is carried out by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The appointment is made on merit and political activity played no part in the decision process. However, in accordance with the code, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Martin has not declared any political activity.

Martin will be stepping down from his role as vice-chairman of the Medical Protection Society before taking up the post.

Date: 06/11/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    04/05/2020 Midday

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    06/11/2020 at 10:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

NHS Resolution has many of the characteristics of a financial institution but operates within the public sector across the boundaries between the health and justice systems.

The Chair of NHS Resolution will be accountable to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and will:

  • provide leadership, challenge and direction to the organisation ensuring that NHS Resolution:
      • is focused upon delivering excellent services that provide value for money and meet the needs of member organisations (NHS Trusts, general practice, commissioners and other service providers) and patients; and
      • provides insight and analysis to support members and others in the system to learn from things which go wrong in the NHS and shares that learning to improve patient safety and the standard of care;
  • ensure that NHS Resolution carries out its statutory functions under the National Health Service Litigation Authority Regulations 1995, and meets the Government’s policies and priorities, complying with directions and guidance issued by the Secretary of State;
  • in partnership with the Chief Executive, set the tone for excellent working relationships between NHS Resolution and key stakeholders to ensure confidence in the work of NHS Resolution of those who use its services, system partners and government;
  • working with the Board, ensure accountability for expenditure and effective management of resources, seeking efficiency savings and achieving cost reductions where possible (both in the running of the organisation and in its operational activity) and that the strategy and supporting business plans are delivered; and
  • ensure high standards of governance and effectiveness of the Board, including supporting the recruitment of new members and ensuring their effective induction and development, providing guidance and support to them, and advising the Department of Health and Social Care on their performance.

Person Specification

To be considered, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the qualities, skills and experience to meet all the essential criteria for appointment.

  • Ability to provide strong strategic leadership to NHS Resolution, including chairing the board, demonstrated by a significant career record of achievement;
  • ability to interpret and act upon performance information and appropriately challenge management recommendations;
  • excellent communication and influencing skills; and
  • an ability to gain the respect and confidence of stakeholders, including Ministers, and collaborate effectively to lead and support change in a large, complex system.

Additional Information

Introduction from Ian Dilks, Chair of NHS Resolution (NHSR)

“The last few years have seen major changes to NHS Resolution’s role and standing in the system as a result of both its revised strategy and the new clinical negligence scheme for GPs. It has been a pleasure and privilege to Chair the organisation through this period of significant change.

Although the course is set for the next few years some of these changes are still at an early stage and need to be embedded, there is now a need to progress the development of our infrastructure to support the enhanced role and the NHS will continue to evolve. I am sure therefore that the next Chair will also find the role both challenging and rewarding.”

Ian Dilks

Chair of NHSR



NHS Resolution’s purpose is to provide expertise to the NHS to resolve claims and concerns fairly, share learning for improvement and preserve resources for patient care.

The organisation, formerly known as the NHS Litigation Authority, was re-launched as NHS Resolution in April 2017 with a new five-year strategy ‘Delivering fair resolution and learning from harm’, which gives it a greater emphasis on prevention, learning and early intervention. Its four strategic aims are:

  • Resolution – resolving concerns and disputes fairly and effectively;
  • Intelligence – providing analysis and expert knowledge to the healthcare and civil justice systems, to drive improvement;
  • Intervention – delivering in partnership, interventions and solutions that improve safety and save money;
  • Fit for purpose – offering best value and developing our people, relationships and infrastructure.

Three years on, NHS Resolution is making good progress against its strategic aims and undergoing a significant programme of transformation which impacts across the whole organisation. Key achievements since 2017 include:

  • Embedding its Early Notification scheme for brain injuries at birth which is transforming the experience for affected families;
  • Working with system partners to implement a successful incentive scheme for improving maternity safety;
  • Reducing the number of claims moving into formal litigation through the increased use of mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution:
  • Supporting the development of a just and learning culture in the NHS, including through the publication of its Being Fair guidance.

In addition, since April 2019, NHS Resolution has taken on the operation of the new state-backed indemnity scheme for general practice, a development which was not envisaged at the time of its 2017 strategy. It is also working closely with the Department and cross-government partners on addressing the rising cost of clinical negligence following reports from the National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee in 2017.To recognise the progress made to date and re-focus its objectives for the remaining strategy period, NHS Resolution recently published a refresh of its strategic plan for 2019-2022.

Key functions

Key priorities for the year ahead include consolidating the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (CNSGP) and communicating their enhanced offer to primary care, and initiating and taking forward a series of complex change projects ranging from implementing a new operating model across its claims function, planning for the replacement of its core systems to deliver improved business intelligence, and preparing for an office relocation to Canary Wharf in early 2021.

NHS Resolution’s four areas of business are:

  • Claims Management – delivers expertise in handling clinical and non-clinical negligence claims against the NHS in England. The main scheme is the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST); members include all NHS trusts, CCGs and some independent sector providers of NHS-funded care.
  • From 1 April 2019, NHS Resolution has operated the new state-backed scheme for general practice, the CNSGP.
  • Safety and Learning – draws learning from claims to drive safety improvement, from working with individual trusts (allowing members to target safety activity to specific clinical areas) to collaborating with others to share learning across the system at a national level. Following the implementation of the CNSGP, this now includes learning from across primary and secondary care.
  • Practitioner Performance Advice – provides advice, support and interventions in relation to concerns about the individual performance of doctors, dentists and pharmacists.
  • Primary Care Appeals – offers an impartial tribunal service for the fair handling of appeals and disputes between NHS England and primary care contractors (GPs, dentists, opticians and pharmacists).

Key Facts

  • Number of staff: approx. 370 with plans to increase to circa 430 in 2020-21.
  • Spend: NHS Resolution spent £2.4bn on clinical negligence claims in 2018-19, and the annual ‘cost of harm’ incurred was approximately £9bn.
  • NHS Resolution manages the second-highest liability in Government. As at 31 March 2019, the provision for future claims liabilities stood at £83.4bn.
  • Legislative basis: NHS Resolution is a Special Health Authority. It was established as the NHS Litigation Authority in 1995 and re-launched as NHS Resolution in 2017. Its legal name remains NHS Litigation Authority.

Links to relevant docs

Our strategy to 2022

Our refreshed 2019-2022 strategic plan: Delivering fair resolution and learning from harm

(NB. The 2020-21 Business Plan is expected to be published in early April 2020)

Early Notification scheme progress report

Evaluation of NHS Resolution’s claims mediation service

an evaluation of our claims mediation service

Being Fair guidance

How to Apply

To make an application please email your CV, a supporting letter and completed monitoring forms to: – please quote VAC-1674 in the subject field.

If you are unable to apply by email you may send your application by post to:

Daniel Clemence Department of Health and Social Care, Room 1N09, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UE

Applications must be received by midday on 04 May 2020.

In making an application please note the following:

Supporting letter

The supporting letter is your opportunity to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria set out in the person specification. It will benefit the Advisory Assessment Panel if you can be clear which specific evidence you provide relates to which criteria. Providing separate paragraphs in relation to each criterion is common practice. Please write all acronyms in full first.

Please ensure your full name, the role to which you are applying and the corresponding reference number for the post are clearly noted at the top of your letter.

Please limit your letter to two pages, and type or write clearly in black ink.

Conflicts of interest

If you have any business or personal interests that might be relevant to the work of NHSR, and which could lead to a real or perceived conflict of interest if you were to be appointed, please provide details in your supporting letter.

If appointed, you will also be required to declare these interests on appointment and they will be entered on a register which is available to the public.

Standards in public life and ensuring public confidence

Given the nature of public appointments, it is important that those appointed as members of public bodies maintain the confidence of the public and Government. If there are any issues in your personal or professional history (including any convictions or bankruptcy) that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment to Ministers or NHSR or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Assessment Panel and provide details of the issue/s in your supporting letter. In considering whether you wish to declare any issues, you should also reflect on any public statements you have made, including through social media and blogs. Due diligence may be carried out on any publicly available information and shared with the Advisory Assessment Panel.

The panel may explore any issues you declare with you before they make a recommendation on the appointment.

Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment being terminated, as those who hold public appointments are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of corporate and personal conduct and are required to subscribe to the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies, as part of agreeing to the terms and conditions of appointment. You can access this document at:

There are also circumstances in which individuals may not be considered for appointment, due to them not meeting certain eligibility criteria for appointment. For further information, please refer to Section 2.3: Disqualification from Appointment in the Candidate Information pack.

If you wish to discuss any queries on conflicts, please see the contacts section.


Please ensure your CV includes:

  • Your full name, title, home address, personal contact telephone numbers (land line and mobile), personal email address and details of any twitter accounts and LinkedIn accounts including your twitter handle/username.
  • Similar contact details for two referees who will support your application. One referee should be the person to whom you are/were accountable in your current/most recent appointment or position of employment. Please indicate the relationship of each referee to you. References will be requested for short-listed candidates prior to interview
  • Brief details of your current or most recent post and the dates you occupied this role. Please identify any past or present Ministerial appointments.

Monitoring form

Please complete the monitoring form. Diversity monitoring information will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel assessing your application.

Political activity information is primarily for monitoring purposes only, however if you are shortlisted for interview, this information will be shared with the selection panel. The reason for this is that it is appreciated that such activities may have given you relevant skills, including experience gained from committee work, collective decision-making, resolving conflict and public speaking. If you have had such experience and you consider it relevant to your application for this post, you should also take the opportunity to include it separately in your supporting statement. If possible, you should not, however, identify the relevant political party in your statement.

If you are appointed to this role, please note that any political activity you declare will be published in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Department of Health and Social Care operates a Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) for disabled people. The Equality Act 2010 defines a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities. Under the GIS a disabled candidate will be selected for interview if they meet the essential criteria for the post.

If you wish to apply under the GIS please complete the GIS form and return it with your application.

All applications will be acknowledged by email after the closing date.


The Department of Health and Social Care has appointed Odgers Berndtson to provide executive search support to this recruitment campaign. For an informal discussion about the role, please contact:

Carmel Gibbons

Tel: 020 7529 1128



Or Samantha Larkin, PA to Carmel Gibbons

Tel: 020 7529 6314



For further information regarding the selection process, please contact

Daniel Clemence

Appointments Team

Tel: 0113 2545335



For further information regarding the role of NHSR and the role of the Chair please contact:

William Vineall

Tel: 020 7210 2817 / 07887 832414



Please quote reference VAC-1674 on all correspondence.

If you choose to apply, we would like to thank you in advance for your time and effort in making an application.

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