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NHS: Public Appointments

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 29 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria are used by the NHS Appointments Commission in evaluating the suitability of candidates for the position of chair of NHS hospital trusts. (164898)

The Appointments Commission is directed by the Secretary of State for Health to appoint people to NHS boards with a range of skills and experience including those with a strong community service and/or voluntary sector background. Appointments are made on the overriding principle merit and in an open and transparent way. The current criteria used are as follows.

Qualities required to be an NHS trust chair

Candidates will need to demonstrate that they have the necessary experience, and will need to show that they have:

experience of leading an organisation with a significant budget and of comparable complexity;

a considerable reputation within their field whether public, private or voluntary sector;

a portfolio of high level governance and organisational skills including strategic planning, financial management, risk management, organisation performance management and service development in a regulated environment; and

experience of building alliances and working relationships with a range of stakeholders.

Preference will be given to candidates who live in the area served by the organisation but specific eligibility criteria may apply.

Candidates who are shortlisted for interview will need to show that they have the competencies required to be effective in this demanding leadership role. They are

Patient and community focus—high level of commitment to patients, carers and the community and to tackling health inequalities in disadvantaged groups;

Self belief and drive—the motivation to improve NHS performance and the confidence to take on challenges;

Intellectual flexibility—the ability to be creative, make sense of complexity and clarify it for other people;

Strategic direction—the ability to develop a clear vision and enthuse others;

Holding to account—the willingness to be held to account for board performance and the ability to hold the chief executive and non-executives to account;

Team working—the ability to take on a personal leadership role and build an effective team;

Effective influencing and communication—a high level of ability to gain support and influence, political acumen.