Non-Executive Director of NHS England

Body: Department of Health and Social Care
Appointing Department: Department of Health
Sectors: Health
Location: London
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £7,883 per annum
Time Requirements: 2 to 3 days per month

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is looking to appoint a Non-Executive Director (NED) to the NHS England Board.

Role and Responsibilities of the a NED

The primary role of Non-Executive Directors is, as a team, to lead in developing the strategy for, and overseeing the work of NHS England by participating fully in the work of the board, both in the context of the board meetings themselves, and more widely. Non-Executive Directors also play a part in representing NHS England externally, alongside the Chief Executive, the Chair and the Executive Director team.

The responsibilities of the Non-Executive Directors of NHS England are:

  • working with the Chair and the Executive Board to develop NHS England’s strategy to ensure that it carries out its statutory responsibilities and delivers its mandate, meeting its targets and objectives, and ensuring that the Executive Team is held to account for doing so
  • ensuring the board reinforces the values of the organisation by setting a high standard for ethics and responsible business, and by maintaining and enhancing NHS England’s reputation as an open and independent body, which puts the interests of the public and patients first
  • contributing to the meetings of the Board, taking an active part in discussions, providing counsel, advice, challenge and support to the Executive Team; contributing to an environment of constructive debate on key issues in order to build consensus
  • ensuring that NHS England’s Executive Team develops and maintains strong working relationships with the Department of Health and Social Care, the other health arms-length bodies and other stakeholders
  • promoting the work of NHS England, with an understanding of the value of strategic communication and engagement
  • contributing across a range of specific areas, including: setting and maintaining an appropriate clinical agenda for NHS England; ensuring the Board listens to the patient voice; ensuring appropriate financial controls are in place, and risks are managed accordingly; contributing to the change management agenda; ensuring that best practice is followed in all workforce and leadership policies and behaviour
  • ensuring that the Executive Team is held to account for putting in place appropriate financial controls and ensuring compliance throughout the organisation.


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.

 Essential Criteria

  • a career record of achievement, with an ability to operate effectively on the board of a high-profile national organisation
  • a senior leader with academic and NHS clinical experience who can demonstrate the ability to understand and manage the main drivers for clinical excellence in the NHS especially the interface with academic/research bodies
  • a strong 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
  • an ability to guide NHS England’s strategic direction, and use sound judgement, based on the ability to consider and challenge complex issues from an impartial and balanced viewpoint
  • good communication skills, with the ability to work as part of a team, with a positive and constructive style, challenging management recommendations where necessary


Additional Information

Role and Responsibilities

NHS England was established by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. It was set up on a transitional basis in November 2011, under its original title of the NHS Commissioning Board Authority. It assumed some initial responsibilities in October 2012, and its full responsibilities on 1 April 2013. It is the first time in its history that responsibility for the operations of the NHS has been transferred to an independent board established by primary legislation.

NHS England shares responsibility with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care for promoting a comprehensive health system in England, to secure improvement in physical and mental health, and in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ill-health. The 2012 Act establishes the relationship through a Mandate, which is the means by which the Secretary of State specifies the objectives that NHS England is expected to deliver. The Mandate is reviewed annually, and may not be amended during the year without special reason. The 2018/19 mandate purposefully rolls forward with minimal change to the objectives, 2020 goals and annual deliverables from the 2017-18 mandate. The only substantial change is to extend an existing objective to include support for implementation of EU Exit with regards to health and care.

There are bimonthly accountability meetings between the Secretary of State and the Chair of the Board, and the agenda and the minutes are published. NHS England is also required to report annually on its performance against the Mandate.

Although the Mandate establishes the formal relationship, there is regular informal liaison between NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, as there is with the various other Arm’s Length Bodies with interdependent responsibilities, including the Care Quality Commission, NHS Improvement, Public Health England, NICE and Health Education England.

Mode of operation

From the outset, NHS England has committed itself to an open and transparent style. The Board is a unitary board, in which both non-executives and executive members work as a team. Its formal business meetings are conducted in public and are web cast live. Each meeting is followed by a private meeting for reserved business as required. Much preparatory work is also done by members of the Board in informal development sessions. Recent sessions have covered such subjects as developing criteria for assessing proposals for the devolution of health responsibilities to cities and regions; a strategic framework for commissioning and initiatives to improve our arrangements for patient and public involvement in all our work.


NHS England has responsibility for the commissioning of health care in England and, under the Mandate, to invest its annual budget (of approximately £107 billion) to bring about measurable improvements in health outcomes for the population. Most of the commissioning in terms of expenditure is undertaken by the 211 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that were set up under the 2012 Act. NHS England allocates approximately £76 billion to the CCGs. NHS England did not itself set up the CCGs – they were self-determining in this respect – but it did put them through a rigorous authorisation process, and oversees their performance against plans prepared by them and agreed with NHS England’s respective area teams.

The remaining commissioning is undertaken by NHS England directly, and includes primary care (general practice, community pharmacy, dentistry and optometry services), some specialist services, including justice and military; and around £13 billion of specialised commissioning, which includes some 140 different clinical specifications which are of such rarity, or require such skilled teams and/or advanced technology, as to make it necessary for them to be commissioned nationally rather than locally. Highly specialised hospitals, such as Great Ormond Street in London, may earn over 70% of their NHS income through this route.

Current state of play

In October 2014, NHS England, in partnership with the other Arm’s length bodies published the NHS Five Year Forward View, which sets out a collective vision of how the NHS needs to change if it is to close the widening gaps between healthcare needs, funding and the quality of services.

The Five Year Forward View is clear that the continued success of the NHS will require a combination of strategies that span the usual means of enhanced efficiency and procurement, in conjunction with radical transformation of NHS services. NHS England is taking a leading role in the realisation of the changes in the Five Year Forward View.

The challenge to NHS England over the coming years is, working closely with the Secretary of State and the other arm’s length bodies, to deliver the transformation of healthcare in England, wrapped around the needs of empowered patients, and focused upon world-class excellence. The Board is committed to ever increasing emphasis upon compassionate care, fully informed by the needs and wishes of patients and their carers, and reinforced by more effective use, analysis and transfer of data across the NHS, and the transformational power of the new technologies and applications that are currently being developed in healthcare.

In March 2017, NHS England published ‘Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’, again in partnership with the other ALBs. This summarised progress since the publication of the Forward View and set specific goals for service improvement in 2017/18 and 2018/19.

NHS England is working increasingly closely with NHS Improvement. A Non-Executive Director of NHS Improvement has recently been appointed to serve as an Associate NED on the Board of NHS England, with a reciprocal arrangement on the NHS Improvement Board.

Along with the additional £2.8billion of funding provided for the NHS in Budget 2017, the Government’s decision to maintain a stable mandate for 2018-19 will support NHS England, and the wider NHS, to recover performance on important patient access standards. At the same time, progress on existing Five Year Forward View commitments – including on transforming services for cancer, mental health and primary care – will be maintained.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are encouraging local NHS organisations to work together in Integrated Care Systems (ICSs). Integrated Care Systems are those in which commissioners and NHS providers, working closely with GP networks, local authorities and other partners, agree to take shared responsibility (in ways that are consistent with their individual legal obligations) for how they operate their collective resources for the benefit of local populations.

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