Non-Executive Directors of NHS England - VAC-1698

Body: NHS England
Appointing Department: Department of Health and Social Care
Sector: Health and Social Care
Location: London or other
Skills required: Audit and Risk, Business / Commercial, IT / Digital
Number of Vacancies: 4
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


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

Jeremy Townsend has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit and Risk Assurance Committee to NHS England for 3 years from 1 October 2020.
Michael Coupe, Rakesh Kapoor and Susan Kilsby have been appointed as Non-Executive Directors for 3 years from 1 January 2021.
The appointments will involve a time commitment of 2 to 3 days per month. Remuneration for the Non-Executive Director roles will be at a rate of £7,883 per annum, with an additional allowance for the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Chair, bringing his total remuneration to £13,137 per annum.
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.
The 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. The appointees have not declared any political activity.

Date: 08/10/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    16/07/2020 Midday

  • Panel Sift

    23rd July

  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement

    08/10/2020 at 09:00


Assessment Panel

  • Lee McDonough Added 11/06/2020

    Panel Chair

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

    Show more information

  • Lord David Prior Added 11/06/2020

    NHS England Chair • Representative of Organisation

    Show more information

  • Sir David Behan Added 11/06/2020

    Chair of Health Education England • Independent Member

    Show more information

  • Marie Gabriel CBE Added 21/07/2020

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

    Show more information

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:

How to Apply

The Department of Health and Social Care’s Appointments Team is managing this recruitment campaign. To make an application please email your CV, a supporting letter and completed monitoring forms to: – please quote VAC-1698 in the subject field.

If you are unable to apply by email please contact:

Daniel Clemence

Appointments Team

Tel: 0113 2545335


Applications must be received by midday on 16 July 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 England, 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 England 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.


Russell Reynolds is providing executive search support to this recruitment campaign. For an informal discussion about the role, please contact:

Elinor Parry

Russell Reynolds Associates

Tel: 0207198 1870


For further information regarding the selection process, please contact

Daniel Clemence

Appointments Team

Tel: 0113 2545335


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

Helen Bullers

Director of HR and OD

Tel: 07876 857 276



Please quote reference VAC-1698 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.

Return to Search