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Nhs Trusts (Chairpersons)

Volume 301: debated on Friday 21 November 1997

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To ask the secretary of State for Health if he will list the criteria by which he will appoint the chairpersons of National Health Service trusts; and if he will ensure that those chosen will live in the area served by the trust. [15844]

To be considered for a trust chairmanship, candidates are normally expected to:

  • live in the area served by the trust;
  • have a strong personal commitment to the National Health Service;
  • be able to demonstrate a commitment to the needs of the local community;
  • be a good communicator with plenty of common sense;
  • be committed to the public service values of accountability, probity, openness and equality of opportunity;
  • be available for about 3 days a week;
  • be able to demonstrate leadership and motivation skills and the ability to think strategically;
  • have the ability to understand complex issues; and
  • be able to demonstrate an interest in healthcare issues
Desirable qualities include having:

  • experience as a carer or user of the NHS;
  • experience serving in the voluntary sector, particularly in an organisation working in health issues;
  • served the local community in local government or some other capacity;
  • relevant specialist skills or knowledge relevant to the trust; and
  • management experience at a senior level in the public, private or voluntary sectors.

Candidates are expected to have all the essential qualities and preferably some of the desirable ones. Only in exceptional circumstances would we be prepared to depart from the requirement that a trust chairman should live in the community served by the trust, for example, where there are severe recruitment problems, or when a particularly strong candidate has demonstrated in some other way their commitment to the local community.