Executive Recruitment

Governance structure

The NHS Confederation is a charitable company whose charitable aims are “the relief of sickness and the preservation and protection of public health”. The charity is governed by a board of Trustees. We have recently strengthened the board of trustees to make it more diverse and representative of the membership.  

Until October 2013 NHS Employers had its own separate company but the Trustees decided to streamline the governance and accounting arrangements for the NHS Confederation and its subsidiary companies which means that it is now accountable directly to the Board of Trustees instead of to a separate board.  We are in the process of finalising these changes with Companies House.

There are two committees of the charity – audit and remuneration – which cover the activities of the whole group including NHS Employers. 

NHS Employers has its own senior management team responsible for running of the Employers’ Organisation and details can be found here.

The NHS Confederation is governed by a board of trustees who are directors of the charitable company. The board is led by an independent part-time remunerated chair, Stephen Dorrell, supported by two voluntary vice-chairs, Andrew Cash and Owen Williams. All other trustees come from member organisations and are voluntary.

All of our trustees come from our member organisations and are voluntary.

Our trustees are:

Stephen Dorrell, Chair of the NHS Confederation

Stephen was a Member of Parliament from 1979 to 2015 and a member of the Government from 1987 to 1997, serving as a minister in the Treasury, the Department of Health and the Department of National Heritage. He was a member of the Cabinet as Secretary of State for the National Heritage from 1994 to 1995 and Secretary of State for Health from 1995 to 1997. 

Stephen led Conservative Mainstream from 2001 to 2005; from 2005 to 2010 he was Chair of the Conservative Public Service Improvement Group and from 2008 to 2010 he was a member of the cross party Commission on Public Service Reform convened by the Royal Society of Arts.

Between 2010 and 2014 Stephen was the first elected Chair of the House of Commons Health Committee, developing the role of the committee as an authoritative cross-party voice on health and care policy.  In addition to his political life, Stephen has had an active business life both as a company director and as a consultant working with many of the major private equity houses. He is a senior adviser to KPMG supporting the Global Health and Public Sector practices. 

Stephen was appointed chair of the NHS Confederation in November 2015.  

Sir Andrew Cash OBE, representing NHS Employers, Vice-Chair

Chief Executive, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sir Andrew is chair of the NHS Employers policy board, and deputy chair of the Shelford Group. He is also chief executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a post he has held since it became a first-wave foundation trust in 2004. Sir Andrew was elected by his peers as the first chair of the Foundation Trust Network (FTN) in 2004, oversaw the appointment of the first substantive FTN director, and has continued to contribute to the shaping of this work programme on a national level.  

Between 2006/07, at the invite of the Department of Health, he undertook a 12-month secondment as director general of provider development, and continues to advise the current health secretary as a member of the Secretary of State's monthly Chief Executives' Reference Group.

Jim Easton, representing the NHS Partners Network

Managing Director, Healthcare, Care UK 

Jim Easton has been an executive in the healthcare system in England for over 25 years, and has held leadership positions in hospital services, mental health, primary care and national policy.  

He was the chief executive of York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a high performing 700 bed hospital in the north of England. 

Jim has also held the chief executive position for the South Central Strategic Health Authority, where he was responsible for the delivery of all healthcare services for a population of five million people in the south of England.

In 2009 Jim took on the role of national director of transformation for the National Health Service (NHS) in England, responsible, amongst other areas, for the programme to deliver £20 billion of efficiency savings whilst improving quality across the whole range of NHS services nationally. When he left this role at the end of 2012 the National Audit Office independently assessed that the first three years of the programme had successfully delivered its challenging objectives. 

In February 2013 Jim took up post as the managing director of Health for Care UK, the independent provider of health care services to the NHS in England, providing around £400 million of surgical, primary care and urgent care services to the NHS.  Care UK is innovating in new models of primary care and elective surgery across England.

Julia Hickey, Independent Trustee, Chair of Audit Committee 

Chairman, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

Julia has been chairman at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead since July 2012, having previously served as a non-executive director and audit committee chair on the board since 2004. She is the non-executive lead for equality and diversity. 

Julia’s professional background is as a chartered accountant, with experience in a wide variety of predominantly private sector fields. She has over 20 years’ non-executive experience across health, education, social housing and probation. In addition, Julia is Chair of the NHS Confederation's Audit Committee.

Dr Graham Jackson, representing NHS Clinical Commissioners

Dr Graham Jackson has worked within Buckinghamshire continually since 1988, he became a partner at Whitehill Surgery in 1991 and still thoroughly enjoys the challenge that primary care provides.

In 1993 he brought together a group of local colleagues to found AYDDOC, an out-of-hours GP co-operative, of which he was medical manager for ten years. He has been a local medical committee member since 1995.

From 1992 to 2003 he was a hospital practitioner in psychiatry; and chaired Neurolink (a national board of mental health experts providing educational material) for several years. 

Dr Jackson has been involved in commissioning and health service provision in Buckinghamshire for a number of years having previously been managing director of Bucks Urgent Care and a member of the Medicines Management Steering Committee. 

He sits on the Strategic Clinical Networks Oversight Committee for Thames Valley and the Oxford AHSN Partnership Council.  He is also currently vice chair of Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board. 

Paul Jenkins, representing the Mental Health Network 

Chief Executive, Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust

Paul Jenkins is the Chief Executive of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, a specialist mental health trust focused on psychological, social and developmental approaches to understanding and treating emotional disturbance and mental ill health, and to promoting mental health.

Paul was previously the Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, a leading national mental health membership charity working to help those affected by severe mental illness. He has an MBA from Manchester Business School and has over 20 years of experience in management and policy-making in the Central Government and the National Health Service (NHS). He has been involved in the implementation of a number of major national government initiatives and was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2002 for his role in setting up NHS Direct.

Tony Stevens, representing the Northern Ireland Confederation

Chief Executive, Northern Health and Social Care Trust 

Dr Tony Stevens was appointed as chief executive of the Northern Trust on 1 August 2014. Since then he has driven a challenging service reform programme to create a practitioner-led organisation with a clear focus on partnerships across the health and care sector and locally delivered services. He has prioritised an open culture, robust governance systems and an ambitious organisational development strategy to underpin reform and modernisation.

Previously, he was medical director for the Belfast Trust and before this he held the roles of deputy medical director and director of risk and occupational health with the Royal Hospitals Trust. He was instrumental in embedding governance arrangements across the Belfast Trust, as well as the trust’s assurance framework. He was also executive lead for quality, safety and public health.

Tony has practiced as an occupational physician in different employment sectors and has had a twenty-year career in medical management and leadership.

Tony is a member of the NHS Confederation's Audit Committee.

Ruth Poole

Speciality Director, Celesio  

Ruth joined the Celesio UK Board in 2016 and is responsible for growing the speciality services that support an integrated NHS including clinical homecare, hospital and community services.  Ruth leads the company’s relationships with NHS leaders, commissioners and pharmaceutical companies, developing new solutions and new models of care in today’s healthcare system. 

Ruth’s previous role was as group commercial director at Healthcare at Home, an innovator in home healthcare, where she was responsible for driving the growth of the start-up business from a team of four with just one patient, up to 2,000 staff with over 150,000 patients and an established part of the health delivery system. 

Ruth is a clinical nurse by background and some of her proudest moments were achieved during her time delivering patient care as a cancer nurse specialist. She is also a trustee of the NHS Confederation and a director of the NHS Partners Network.

Her journey to the top of the industry has given Ruth an insight into what really matters for patients and their families. She takes immense pride in the dignity and respect that her work instils in patients; giving them a better quality of life, through facilitating expert clinical care.

Ruth is the Chair of the NHS Confederation's subsidiary trading company. 

Bernadine Rees OBE, representing the Welsh NHS Confederation

Chair, Hywel Dda University Health Board 
Born in Fishguard, Bernardine trained as a nurse in Carmarthen and has lived in Ceredigion for the last 19 years.

She retired from the NHS after 42 years working in Wales. Some of her local roles in the west included Director of Nursing in Ceredigion, Chief Executive in Pembrokeshire Local Health Board and Director of Primary Community and Mental Health Services in the newly formed Hywel Dda, as well as way many other posts in different parts of Wales. 

Prem Singh, Chair of Remuneration Committee and Senior Independent Director

Chair, Derbyshire Community Health Services Trust

Prem joined Derbyshire Community Health Services as chair on 1 December 2013. He has spent most of his career working in the NHS in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire areas and also worked in social services in Sheffield for seven years.

He has extensive experience of health and social care management having served at board-level positions for over 22 years. He has successfully led community, mental health and learning disability services, including as an executive director of nursing and quality. 

Prem was also chief executive of Derby City Primary Care Trust – a role he held until health service commissioning was taken over by the new clinical commissioning groups – and was previously chief executive of Chesterfield Primary Care Trust.

Prem has now established a successful independent consultancy business, providing management and leadership support to individuals and organisations, and is a qualified executive coach. He is married and has two children.

Prem is the chair of the NHS Confederation's Remuneration Committee. 

Owen Williams, Vice Chair

Chief Executive, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Owen Williams joined Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust as chief executive in May 2012.

Before this he was chief executive of Calderdale Council providing managerial leadership across an organisation which serves a local population of 201,000 people and more than 7,500 businesses. 

Prior to joining Calderdale he was chief executive of Rossendale Council and before that he worked in the commercial sector across financial services, telecommunications and marketing.

He has also worked with the Department of Health as part of its original strategic health authority assurance process and was joint chair and local authority lead on the National Mental Health Strategy Board – No Health without Mental Health.

Owen was educated at the former Buttershaw Comprehensive School in Bradford and completed his MBA at the University of Huddersfield. Married with three children, he is a keen football fan and has resurrected his career as a basketball player – when his body and work permits.