Non-Executive Director of NHS Digital

Body: NHS Digital
Appointing Department: Department of Health and Social Care
Sector: Health and Social Care
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: £7883 per annum
Time Requirements: 2 to 3 days per month


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

Patrick Eltridge, Ben Goldacre and Steve Woodford have been appointed as non-executive directors of NHS Digital (NHSD) for 3 years from 1 April 2021.

The appointments of Marko Balabanovic and Daniel Benton as non-executive directors of NHSD have been extended for 12 months with effect from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.

The appointments involve a time commitment of 2 to 3 days per month. Remuneration for the roles are at a rate of £7,883 a year.

These appointments are 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.

These appointments are 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. None of the appointees has declared any political activity.

Date: 31/03/2021

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    03/12/2020 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    31/03/2021 at 14:00

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is seeking to recruit up to 2 new Non-Executive Director (NEDs) to the NHS Digital board.

Role and Responsibilities of a Non-Executive Director

NHS Digital (NHSD) is the national provider of information, data and IT systems for health and social care in England. It designs, develops, delivers and operates digital technology to save lives and improve outcomes. It keeps the national digital systems supporting health and care secure, reliable and operational 24/7. NHSD is custodian of the data in England’s health and social care system, with responsibility for collecting, protecting, linking and disseminating some of the world’s most valuable health and care data assets. It is the primary provider of official statistics and analysis to the NHS and social care.

As a NED of NHSD, you will be responsible for helping to ensure that it is a successful organisation, both in terms of its effectiveness as a delivery organisation and employer. NEDs play a key role in ensuring continuous organisational improvement, overarching performance management, excellent customer focus and service delivery, scrutiny, challenge, accountability and effective corporate governance.

As a Non-Executive Director, you will:

  1. Provide an independent view and creative contribution at Board meetings and the Board’s sub-committees, including: ensuring the long-term strategic focus, effectiveness and reputation of NHS Digital through purposeful and constructive scrutiny and challenge.
  2. Support NHS Digital’s ambition to become a world leader in the production of open data and the application of technology in health and care. NHS Digital will be expected to make progress in making data available to drive innovation and use its expertise to take further digital transformation, developing a strong digital ecosystem which can respond quickly and flexibly to the needs of the health and social care system.
  3. Monitor, challenge and assure the performance of NHS Digital’s Executive Management Team, in: delivering the strategic vision, organisational priorities and business plan objectives, and meeting post Covid-19 challenges; carrying out its statutory responsibilities and delivering its mandate; monitoring of organisational performance, service delivery, quality and reputation; providing assurance of NHS Digital’s governance, including periodic reviews of the organisation.
  4. Ensure that the Executive Team is held to account for putting in place appropriate financial controls and ensuring compliance throughout the organisation.
  5. Support the Chair and the Executive Management Team to ensure NHS Digital fully embraces and embeds an excellent customer service ethos and delivers accordingly in order to enhance and develop its credibility and reputation.
  6. Help the Board define the vision, values, culture and strategy of the organisation and set a high standard for ethics and diversity and inclusion.
  7. Uphold the values of NHS Digital to deliver excellence, integrity, professionalism, innovation, trustworthiness and teamwork into all aspects of its work, and ensure that the organisation promotes diversity and inclusiveness for all its staff and stakeholders.
  8. Ensure that the Executive Team develops and maintains strong working relationships with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHSE/I, NHSX and the other health arms-length bodies and other stakeholders, to build on the reputation of NHS Digital as a trusted provider of health and care data, and support it to play a fundamental role in driving better care and better outcomes for patients in line with Government policy.
  9. When required, act as an ambassador for NHS Digital in public fora, promoting its work.

Person Specification

Qualities required for the role of a NED

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.

  • A career record of achievement, including senior leadership experience, with an ability to operate effectively on the Board of a high-profile national organisation.
  • Knowledge and experience of using data and digital technology to drive transformation of an existing large-scale enterprise and/or to innovate and create new opportunities.
  • An understanding of the specific challenges and opportunities of making the best use of data, and digital technology, in public services in the 21st century.
  • An awareness of the key challenges faced by the public sector, including those arising from Covid-19, and the ability to bring your experience to bear on these challenges, using sound judgement to guide NHS Digital’s strategic direction.
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to work effectively as part of a team and with a wide range of stakeholders, with a constructive style, and able to challenge management recommendations where necessary.
  • An understanding of corporate governance and a commitment to the principles of public service, with the highest standards of personal propriety in relation to governance, accountability, risk and financial management.

Additional Information

NHS Digital is a non-Departmental Government body, established in April 2013 by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 as the Health and Information Centre, now trading as NHS Digital. In 2019-20 it employed 2,617 permanent staff and secondees; it receives over £530 million in grant in aid funding from the Department of Health and Social Care.  

NHS Digital is the national digital, data and technology delivery partner for the NHS and social care system, with expertise in the design, development and operation of complex IT and data systems. It has responsibility for maintaining the reliability, performance and security of the core infrastructure, platforms and live services on which the NHS and social care system relies. 

NHS Digital builds and maintains the technical systems that enable data both to be used to support care to individuals and to deliver better, more effective care for the community as a whole, encompassing a wide variety of services, from the Spine and core network and email services, to information services such as NHS Choices and transaction systems such as NHS Referrals, the Summary Care Record, and the Electronic Prescription Service. NHS Digital also delivers NHS Pathways, used by the 111 service for triage and diagnosis, and delivers many national screening services.

NHS Digital is custodian of the data in England’s health and social care system, with responsibility for collecting, protecting, linking and disseminating some of the world’s most valuable health and care data assets. It is the primary provider of official statistics and analysis to the NHS and social care.

NHS Digital’s annual report for 19-20 is here: Link


How to Apply

To make an application please email your CV, a supporting letter and completed monitoring forms to: – please quote VAC-1708 in the subject field.

If you are unable to apply by email, please contact:

Daniel Clemence on 0113 2545335

Applications must be received by midday on 03 December 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 NHS Digital, 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 NHS Digital or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised, it is important that you bring them to the attention of the Advisory 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

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.


For further information regarding the role of NHS Digital and the role of a NED please contact:

Gareth James

Tel: 0113 2545328 – Email:

For further information regarding the selection process, please contact

Daniel Clemence

Appointments Team

Tel: 0113 2545335 – Email:

Please quote reference VAC-1708 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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Candidate Information Pack_FINAL
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