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Health: Primary Care Trust Boards

Volume 707: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the statement by Baroness Andrews on 21 January (Official Report, House of Lords, col. GC 112) that the appointments to primary care trusts “are of local people on the advice of local authorities”, what are the procedures for appointment of non-executive members of primary care trust boards; what arrangements are made for local authorities to provide such advice; and what is the statutory basis for its provision. [HL1009]

The Secretary of State's powers to appoint non-executive members of primary care trusts (PCTs) are delegated to the Appointments Commission (an executive non-departmental public body of the department). The Appointments Commission recruits members using a fair, open and transparent process and makes appointments on merit, in line with the requirements of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, who regulates the process.

Local authorities do not have a role in the selection of non-executives to PCT boards. However, the Appointments Commission, in collaboration with the recruiting organisation, also works closely with local authorities to target campaigns and encourage applications and preference is given to local candidates.

The Appointments Commission is to continue working with the department and other stakeholders to explore options for how local engagement in the recruitment of key local National Health Service public appointments can be strengthened further.