NHS England is appointing five new non-executive directors to its board, according to an announcement published this week.
NHSE said it was looking for people with “a career record of achievement” in a clinical profession, the life sciences, the voluntary or charity sector or local government according to the job specification. Applications are open until 24 June.
The specification said the NEDs would be joining a “new” board because “the structure of the NHS will see significant transformation” with the 42 integrated care systems finally becoming statutory bodies from 1 July, and mergers of several national bodies into NHSE.
The specification was candid about the “deep challenges” facing the NHS and its board. It said many of those challenges “have been building for several years and a number of which have been worsened by the pandemic”.
“The NHS arguably faces its greatest test,” it added. “Immediate pressures come from the extent of the waiting lists, from urgent and emergency care performance, in accessing primary care and from acknowledged shortages in our workforce.”
The specification said there are questions about physical capacity, including the estate, as well as the “shape and capacity of the workforce”. But it also pointed to “a range of potential solutions” including “investment programmes, potential changes in work practices, the application of technology and both immediate and longer-term workforce planning”.
NHSE NEDs are paid £7,883 a year for two to three days work a month. They are appointed for terms of up to three years and usually only fill the post for two terms or a maximum of 10 years. The board currently has six non-executive members including the recently appointed chair Richard Meddings, who replaced Lord David Prior in March 2022 following a career in banking.