Non-Executive Directors of NHS England

Body: NHS England
Appointing Department: Department of Health and Social Care
Sector: Health and Social Care
Location: National
Number of Vacancies: 5
Remuneration: £7883 per annum
Time Requirements: 2 to 3 days per month

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    28/06/2022 at 17:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement


Vacancy Description

Ministers are seeking to make new Non-Executive Director appointments to the board of NHS England.

The primary role of NHS England’s 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 Government’s health policy, 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 and ensuring an appropriate level of resource is dedicated to preventing disease as well as treating disease; ensuring the board drives strong integration between health and care; 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; and 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.
  • ensuring the Executive Team is held to account for performance management across the major interfaces for patients with the service.
  • reducing waste and driving efficiencies to enable as much taxpayer’s money as possible is directed towards patient care.
For further information please see the attached candidate information pack.

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 skills and senior experience in one or more of the following areas:
    • Clinician (from any professional background, including doctors, nurses, allied health professionals – and from any setting, including acute, primary care, research, etc)
    • Life Sciences
    • Voluntary/charity sector connected to healthcare
    • Local government
  • able to operate effectively on the board of a high-profile national organisation, with an understanding of corporate governance, and an ability to guide NHS England’s strategic direction
  • sound judgement, with the ability to consider and provide challenge on complex issues from an impartial and balanced viewpoint and to hold the executive team to account
  • strong strategic skills, with a bias towards effective delivery and implementation
  • good communication skills, with a positive and constructive style, able to work as part of a team and take collective responsibility.

Additional Information

NHSE shares responsibility with the Secretary of State for promoting a comprehensive health system in England, for securing improvements in physical and mental health, and for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ill-health. NHSE’s role is to lead the NHS in delivering better health, better care and the efficient use of NHS resources. In so doing, NHSE oversees the provision of health services and an integrated system between health and social care. NHSE has a budget of over £150 billion and oversees a health system employing around 1.2 million people.

As the NHS emerges from the pandemic, NHSE will play a leading role in delivering improvements in patients’ care, value for money and broader health reforms. This will include elective service recovery and creating a new integrated system between health and social care, focused on improving outcomes required as a result of the recent health and social care levy.

NHSE was established in 2012 (by the NHS Act 2006, as amended by the Health and Social Care Act 2012) and its remit and duties are shortly to be further expanded through implementation of the Health and Care Act 2022.

NHSE leads commissioning of healthcare services in England. Most commissioning has historically been done by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) throughout England although some is undertaken directly by NHSE. The commissioning done directly by NHSE covers primary care (general practice, community pharmacy, dentistry, optometry), some specialised services including for the justice system and the military, and for other services that require such advanced teams/technology, or relate to rare clinical conditions, and that are therefore more effectively commissioned nationally rather than locally. Under the new framework of the Act, Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) will take on the abolished CCGs’ functions and NHSE can delegate more of its direct commissioning to these local systems.

The Secretary of State also delegates responsibility to NHSE for certain public health services – including for example, national immunisation programmes, cancer and non-cancer screening programmes, Child Health Information Services and public health services for adults and children in secure settings. Since October 2021, additional public health functions were conferred upon NHSE following the abolition of Public Health England.

In practice, reflecting the forthcoming expansion in its remit (see below), this means that NHSE should lead and support the NHS in England and take the action necessary to:

  • deliver the statutory mandate that the Government sets for it and will update from time to time, as well as deliver the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan, and stimulate ongoing development of services to address the changing needs of populations in a way that seeks to reduce inequalities in access, experience, and outcomes
  • maintain and improve health care services in a way that is financially and operationally sustainable within the resource limits set by the government
  • oversee and support Integrated Care Systems, NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts
  • commission specialised health services that cannot be effectively commissioned at local level and deliver national infrastructure to facilitate the delivery of services
  • support the long-term sustainability of the NHS, including its workforce, digital and physical infrastructure and progress to deliver a net zero NHS
  • perform any functions of the Secretary of State which have been delegated to it.
  • deliver other specific duties, regulatory functions and powers that cover:
    • promoting the NHS Constitution
    • improving the quality of services
    • innovation and research
    • reduce inequalities in access to and outcomes from health services as well as in patient experience
    • protecting patient choice
    • promoting education and training
    • promoting integration between health services and health related services
    • promoting and securing public involvement in its decisions
    • seeking to achieve objectives and comply with requirements set for it by Government
    • meeting the new ‘triple aim’ of better health, better care and efficient use of NHS resources.

Forthcoming Changes

This is a year of change for NHSE following the Health and Care Act 2022. The Act will abolish the constituent parts of NHS Improvement (Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority) and transfer its functions to NHS England. At the local delivery level, the Act will abolish Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and create 42 new Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) to lead localities in arranging services. This change in legal framework will also bring an operational shift as the relationships between the centre and localities will change, and importantly so will those with local government.
At the end of 2022/23 NHSE also anticipates it will take in the functions of NHS Digital and Health Education England following the Secretary of State’s announcement on 22 November 2021 (Major reforms to NHS workforce planning and tech agenda – GOV.UK ( This will significantly broaden NHSE’s remit and opportunities to join up key enablers (workforce and digital) for leading the NHS in England.
NHS Long Term Plan and NHSE mandate 
NHSE and NHS Improvement had already moved to a single leadership model in March 2019. The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, set out an ambitious ten-year transformation programme for the NHS. NHSE is now in the process of reviewing the Long Term Plan taking into account the new challenges the NHS faces.
NHSE has a mandate from government (The government’s 2022 to 2023 mandate to NHS England (, which brings together the annual mandate to NHSE and the annual remit for NHS Improvement. For 2022/23 the mandate prioritises the recovery and restoration of NHS services, tackling health and healthcare disparities, driving innovation, and continuing progress to integrated ways of working for health and care and implementation of the Health and Care Act 2022 (Health and Care Act 2022 (
NHSE is also currently supporting local systems to prepare for the implementation of the Health and Care Act 2022, including through the establishment of ICBs and Integrated Care Partnerships (together known as ‘Integrated Care Systems’). As part of this, NHSE must continue to drive the delivery of closer integration and partnership working between the different health and care institutions and professionals in each Integrated Care System.
Mode of operation
The NHS England Board is a unitary board in which both non-executive and executive members work as a team. Formal business meetings are held in public and are broadcast live on the internet. Each meeting takes place alongside a private meeting for reserved business as required. Much preparatory work for the meetings is done by Board members in informal development sessions or ‘deep dives’.
Further details about NHSE and its role in leading the healthcare system can be found here:
NHSE Candidate Information Pack Extended
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