Member - Independent Reconfiguration Panel (VAC-1677)

Body: Independent Reconfiguration Panel
Appointing Department: Department of Health
Sector: Health
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 4
Remuneration: Members are remunerated at a rate of £300 per day.
Time Requirements: 1 to 2 days per month. The IRP meets in London on the second Wednesday of alternate months. Dates for 2020 are 8 January, 11 March, 13 May, 8 July, 9 September, 11 November.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    18/12/2019 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date

    18, 21 & 24 February 2020

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

Ministers are seeking to make 4 appointments to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

Role and Responsibilities of a Member

As a member of the IRP, you will work with the Chair and other members using your experience, expertise and knowledge to guide the work of the panel.

You will:

  • Help the panel to assess contested proposals for changes to health services in England and provide appropriate formal advice to the Secretary of State for Health;
  • Assist in providing ongoing informal advice and support to the NHS, local authorities and other interested parties; and
  • Develop and help to disseminate advice on good practice.


Person Specification

Qualities required for the role of a Member

The membership of the IRP is equally drawn from three groups: Clinical, Managerial and Lay.

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.

The Department of Health and Social Care values and promotes diversity and encourages applications from all sections of the community. The boards of public bodies should reflect the population they are there to serve. Boards also benefit from fresh perspectives, and we are always keen to encourage candidates with private sector experience to consider applying for our roles.

Essential Criteria

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.

  • Have an understanding of the difficult trade-offs normally involved in complex service change;
  • Be able to show sound judgement in formulating and proposing difficult compromises, including those in which all parties may be dissatisfied;
  • Be able to demonstrate excellent communication skills, with the ability to read and digest lengthy and possibly contradictory documents;


In addition, candidates should also meet the following essential criterion for the relevant membership group:

Clinical Member – secondary care

  • Currently a medically qualified consultant working in the NHS with a high calibre background in clinical and service issues relating to one or more of the following: emergency and acute services; care of the elderly; specialist acute services.

Clinical member – general practitioner

  • Currently a general practitioner working in the NHS with a high calibre background in research, teaching or clinical management. You should offer in-depth understanding and experience of the perspective of primary care and its contribution to high quality health services for populations.

Lay member

  •  You will have widespread experience of using NHS services and/or representing the views of NHS service users, their families and local communities in general.

Managerial member

  • High calibre experience in healthcare management, ideally currently or recently employed in the NHS at chief executive or director level. You are likely to have experience in managing complex service change and offer skills in service redesign, major business cases, change management and public consultation.


Additional Information

Independent Reconfiguration Panel role and responsibilities

The Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) is the independent expert on changes to clinical services in the NHS. It provides advice to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on disputed proposals for changes to the NHS in England. It also offers ongoing support and guidance to the NHS and other organisations on achieving successful change. The aim is to ensure that decisions about future service configurations are sustainable and result in improved services for patients. The Panel advises on some of the most sensitive issues that directly affect the care people receive from the NHS.

Established in 2003, the IRP is an advisory non-departmental public body (NDPB). The Panel consists of a Chair and fifteen Members providing an equal balance of clinical, managerial and patient and citizen representation and supported by a chief executive and panel secretary. The chair and membership are all public appointments. Terms of reference are set by the Secretary of State. The Panel offers advice only and its remit covers proposals for reconfiguration and service change in England only.

Many NHS bodies are considering changes to the way patient services are organised. The NHS is constantly evolving. The changing needs of the population and medical advances that lead to new treatments require the NHS to think about and plan how it can provide the best service possible in the appropriate place, with the right staff and within the money available. Patients and the public more widely are part of this planning process alongside clinicians and managers. Various duties apply to the NHS in involving users in the development of services.

Such changes inevitably arouse considerable local and sometimes national interest. Under the Local Authority (Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Boards and Health Scrutiny) Regulations 2013, NHS organisations have a duty to consult local authority health overview and scrutiny committees (HOSC) on any proposals for substantial changes to local health services. If the local authority is not satisfied that:

  • Consultation has been adequate in relation to content or time allowed
  • The reasons given for not carrying out consultation are adequate
  • The proposal would be in the interests of the health service in its area
  • it may report the matter to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State may ask the IRP for advice on the matter.


The panel offers free informal advice to anyone involved in issues relating to changes in the health service in their area. NHS organisations and HOSCs in particular may seek help and advice on best practice. The service is also available to patient forums, patient groups, charitable organisations and other interested representatives and individuals.

Working methods – our formal role

Wherever possible, decisions about how the NHS is run should be made locally by the people directly involved. Only proposals where the organisations involved have satisfied themselves that all other options for local resolution have been fully explored should be referred to the Secretary of State.

The following documentation is required for the Panel to undertake an assessment:

  • The referral letter and all supporting documentation from the referring body
  • A completed IRP assessment template providing relevant background information completed by NHS England


Assessment may be undertaken by the full Panel or by a sub-group appointed by the Chairman representing the clinical, managerial and lay membership. Members will have access to all documentation supplied and will discuss the evidence in detail before agreeing on the advice to be provided. Any additional relevant information that is provided to the IRP, from whatever source, will be taken into account in the Panel’s deliberations.

The IRP will offer advice to the Secretary of State on what further action should be taken, usually within 20 working days. The Secretary of State will consider the Panel’s advice – and may seek further advice elsewhere if desired – and subsequently announce his decision and the future action required.

Most referrals are appropriately handled in this way. Exceptionally, we may advise that further evidence is required before reporting back. This may, for example, be because we need to understand local services and circumstances better and/or wish to take evidence directly from stakeholders.

Throughout, the focus is on the patient and quality of care within the context of safe, sustainable and accessible services for local people. The Panel’s advice to the Secretary of State will be submitted on an agreed date and published on our website when the Secretary of State’s decision is announced.

Working methods – our informal role

The engagement of the local population in developing proposals for reconfiguration is essential to minimising the possibility of later referral to the Secretary of State. Services need to be developed with, not for, the people of that locality.

For many of those involved in developing and scrutinising proposals for reconfiguration of services, this will be an entirely new experience. While the individual circumstances may vary, issues of concern are often similar across the country. The Panel’s informal advisory role allows people involved in reconfiguring services to take advantage of our experience and expertise early on in the process. This helps to increase the benefit to patients and at the same time reduce the likelihood of proposals later being referred to the Secretary of State. Panel Members may review documentation and attend meetings with interested parties to advise on processes, disseminate good practice and help resolve any outstanding issues. Members also participate in workshops and conferences and partnership meetings with other bodies such as NHS England, NHS Improvement, the Centre for Public Scrutiny, the Care Quality Commission and Royal Colleges.

Further information about the Panel can be found on the IRP website


GIS_Form (1)
Candidate Information Pack Final_ext
Return to Search