Non-Executive Directors of NHS England - VAC-1698

Body: NHS England
Appointing Department: Department of Health
Sector: Health
Location: London or other
Skills required: Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial, IT / Digital
Number of Vacancies: 2
Remuneration: These posts are remunerated at the standard rate of £7,883, with an additional allowance for the Audit and Risk Committee chair, bringing their total remuneration to £13,137.
Time Requirements: 2-3 days per month

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    16/07/2020 Midday

  • Panel Sift

    23rd July

  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

  • Lee McDonough Added 11/06/2020

    Panel Chair

    Director General, Acute Care and Workforce, Acute Care and Quality • Departmental Official

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  • Lord David Prior Added 11/06/2020

    NHS England Chair • Representative of Organisation

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  • Sir David Behan Added 11/06/2020

    Chair of Health Education England • Independent Member

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  • Marie Gabriel CBE Added 21/07/2020

    Independent Chair for North East London Integrated Care System (ICS) • Other Panel Member

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Vacancy Description

Please refer to the candidate information pack for full details.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is looking to make two Non-Executive Director (NED) appointments to NHS England. NHS England leads the National Health Service in England and sets its priorities and direction. It is responsible for arranging the provision of health services and for more than £150 billion of funds.

Role and Responsibilities of a Non-Executive Director

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 wider Executive team.

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

  • Working with the Chair and the Executive Board members 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 the 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.

  • A career record of achievement, with an ability to operate effectively on the board of a high-profile national organisation
  • 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
  • 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
  • Good communication skills, with the ability to work as part of a team, with a positive and constructive style, challenging management recommendations where necessary
  • Experience of working in complex systems.

In addition, candidates should bring skills and experience in one or more of the following areas:


  • A track record of success in a significant senior financial role in either the private or public sector, with experience of assurance, risk management and work on audit committees. The successful candidate will have a professional background in accountancy or a related discipline.

 Broad commercial skills

  • Experience in driving policy or organisational change – leading large organisations through significant transformation, engaging and inspiring staff, patients or customers and other stakeholders

Technology Transformation

  • Experience of successfully rolling out and scaling of new technology with an understanding of the contribution this can make to improving quality and transforming patient outcomes

Please note: of the two NEDs to be appointed, at least one must have broad commercial experience and one must have necessary finance experience as they would chair NHS England’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Additional Information

NHS England (the operational name for the NHS Commissioning Board) is an Arm’s Length Body of the Department of Health and Social Care that was established by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. It shares responsibility with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care for promoting a comprehensive health system in England, for securing improvement in physical and mental health, and for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ill-health.

NHS England works jointly with NHS Improvement, which leads the NHS provider sector. Although both of their Boards remain legally distinct, their central and regional functions have merged to create what is in practice a single organisation that leads the NHS. The Government is proposing to legally merge both of them in future, through an NHS Bill.

The 2012 Act established the relationship between Government and NHS England through an annual statutory mandate, which sets out objectives that NHS England is expected to deliver.


NHS England leads commissioning of healthcare services in England. Most commissioning is done by Clinical Commissioning Groups throughout England although some is undertaken directly by NHS England. The commissioning done directly by NHS England covers primary care (general practice, community pharmacy, dentistry, optometry), some specialised services including for the justice system an military, and for other service that require such advanced teams/technology, or relate to rare clinical conditions, that are more effectively commissioned nationally rather than locally.

Current state of play

NHS England and NHS Improvement moved to a single leadership model in March 2019, under the Chief Executive of NHS England and a Chief Operating Officer who is also the Chief Executive of NHS Improvement. In April 2019, they established a single NHS Executive Group with seven new joint regional teams and have subsequently combined all of their corporate directorates.

NHS England and NHS Improvement worked together to lead the NHS in developing the NHS Long Term Plan, which was published in January 2019 and sets out an ambitious ten year transformation programme for the NHS. In 2019-20, their focus has been on working with regional and local NHS organisations to develop an implementation plan.

Current priorities

Since 2019-20 the Government has set joint objectives for both for NHS England and NHS Improvement: in 2019-20, these were set out in the Government’s 2019-20 Accountability Framework with NHS England and NHS Improvement, which incorporated the statutory mandate to NHS England. It included two objectives – one on implementing the Long Term Plan with a firm focus on effective planning and use of the NHS funding settlement, and management of financial and operational risk, and the other on supporting Government in managing the impact of EU Exit on Health and Care.

A 2020-21 mandate to NHS England and NHS Improvement was published on 25 March 2020. This makes clear that responding to Covid-19 is their top current priority, but also includes wider objectives on continued implementation of the Long Term Plan and maintaining and enhancing public confidence in the NHS; supporting delivery of Government’s wider priorities (including its manifesto commitments and continued planning for the end of the EU transition period); delivering public health functions; and information sharing.

NHS England’s total annual funding to 2023-24, reflecting the NHS Funding Act 2020, is set out in the mandate. For 2020-21 the total revenue budget is approximately £130bn, and the total capital budget is approximately £305m.

Mode of operation

The NHS England Board is a unitary board in which both non-executive and executive members work as a team although there are now regular joint Board meetings with the NHS Improvement Board. Formal business meetings are held in public and are broadcast live on the internet. Each meeting is followed by a private meeting for reserved business as required. Much preparatory work for the meetings is done by Board members in informal development sessions.

Further details about NHSE and its role in leading the healthcare system to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan can be found at:

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