NHS Non-Executive Director Programme

PwC’s bespoke online programme for NHS NEDs delivers high value and high impact events free of cost and tailored to support the demands placed upon those in the health sector

The role of an NHS NED is increasingly demanding as the healthcare system goes through major challenges and upheaval. NHS boards play a key role in shaping the strategy, vision and purpose and are responsible for holding the organisation to account for the delivery of strategy and ensuring value for money. Board must also assure that risks to a trust and the public are managed and mitigated effectively.

"Great programme, thank you for letting us access it."

Fiona McKenzie, NeXt Director Scheme

"Very thought provoking, its important as a NED to have "time out" to discuss the longer term issues facing the NHS."

Vanessa Connolly Cambridgeshire & Peterborough CCG

Our online programme aims to support NHS NEDs via a series of briefings, workshops and other one-off events to help address the need to keep up to date with Board issues and to assist directors to respond to the challenges they face. We offer expert knowledge and real life experience from within and without the sector including a balance of macro and micro level topics for the whole board, as well as a specific workshop for the Audit Committee.

We draw on the best minds within the healthcare sector as well as using the expertise we have developed from our work with key clients across the NHS. The forums give NEDs a unique opportunity to debate and discuss with their peers.

Programme details

Our NED programme activities are designed for NEDs from any NHS organisation. It has been designed with feedback from colleagues across healthcare and reflects the latest issues, developments and thinking in the sector.

For more information on the events listed please contact Juliet Darkko.

Upcoming events

26 November, 14.00 - 15.30

NHS Audit Committee Network

The COVID-19 response in recent months has had a disruptive impact on organisations' governance arrangements as staff and leadership teams have been focused on operational priorities:

  • Governance meetings have been taking place virtually
  • In many cases papers and supporting information have been produced more quickly and/ or have been subject to lower levels of quality control
  • NEDs have not been able to walk the floors, meaning triangulation of information and Board to Ward assurance has been weakened.
  • New corporate risks have arisen which may not yet be reflected in risk registers or the Board Assurance Framework
  • Decisions have been made at pace, often involving derogations to policies, Standing Orders and/ or Standing Financial Instructions.

This session will explore the implications of the current situation on the role and working practices of the Audit Committee; by sharing experiences and discussing potential solutions we will identify practical steps that can be taken over the coming months to help achieve good governance in a disrupted world.



Stephen Hay, Former Deputy CEO NHS Improvement and adviser to PwC

Harriet Aldridge, PwC Forensics Director and governance expert

10 December, 16.00 - 17.30

Integrated Care Systems - Next Steps - What does ‘System by default’ mean in practice?

For several years now, boards have been wrestling with the emergence of STPs and ICSs and trying to work out what the policy of moving towards integrated health systems means for statutory accountability. Coming off the back of managing through the pandemic and organising the recovery, this issue will once again feature on board agendas up and down the country as references to the primacy of ‘system working’ feature strongly in NHS Phased Recovery Planning.


Richard Douglas, Deputy Chair, NHS Improvement, Independent Chair of SE London ICS and former Director-General of Finance at the Department of Health

David Morris, PwC Health Services Sector Leader

Nancy Parker, PwC Partner

20 January, 16.00 - 17.30

Diversity, inclusion and the NHS - a shining exemplar or work in progress?

Two major social shockwaves occurred in 2020 which have impacted the NHS in a huge way. One COVID-19, the other Black Lives Matter. For many boards the two issues run hand in hand, as we have seen the increased susceptibility of staff and patients from BAME backgrounds not just to COVID-19 but also in terms of access to services and the prevalence of underlying health conditions. This session will look at how the NHS, and individual boards, can further address diversity and inclusion, in particular looking at the way in which services are provided, the resources available to the most vulnerable and the manner in which we recruit and retain staff.


Sarah Gregory, HR Operations Director, BBC

Karen Finlayson, PwC Risk Assurance Partner and Regional Lead for Government

25th February 16.00 - 17.30

Implementing the NHS People Plan

No one would argue with the view that ‘the NHS is nothing without its workforce’. Every board in the country knows it and tries hard to ensure it recruits, retain high quality staff and to create the best culture within which their organisation and their staff can thrive. Yet taken at scale, we have workforce shortages, staff satisfaction scores varying wildly across the country and examples of poor care, driven by inappropriate working cultures and experiences. In 2020, the NHS published its long awaited People Plan resulting in organisations and systems in the NHS having to set out their own local implementation plans. We consider what boards should be doing and we will look at the national plan and its expectations of organisations. You will be encouraged to share the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation in developing its workforce and workplace culture.


Andrew Foster, Interim Managing Director, NHS Leadership academy

Emma Cody, PwC Tax Health Team Leader

Kalee Talvitie - Brown, PwC London Region Health Leader

9th March 16.00 - 17.30

Tech powered healthcare - has COVID-19 finally transformed the NHS?

For many years the NHS has been trying to speed up the process of moving clinical and business processes to tech based platforms. But for many patients and professionals the pace of change of digitalisation has been too slow and the NHS has lagged behind other sectors in improving outcomes and reducing costs as a result. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of technological change but, even now, we can see a slipping back to the old ways of working despite the best endeavours to the contrary. So what should boards be doing about this, and how can the NHS genuinely benefit from not just remote consultations, but also to the plethora of data driven monitoring and diagnostic services now available. Is the NHS actually on the brink of revolution or simply tinkering around the edges?


Alan Milburn, former Secretary of State for Health

28 April 14:30 - 16.00

Capital and infrastructure - the consequences of the last decade and the need to boost spending

It’s no secret that for the previous decade of austerity, money for infrastructure and maintenance has been in short supply and there has, undoubtedly, been an impact on how we provide services. There is now an opportunity to increase our capital spending not least  with the new hospital building programme. In this session we ask about priorities for expenditure, the investment in diagnostics, facilities and IT, and challenge boards to think creatively about working at ICS level on capital investments.


Jo Dolby

Jo Dolby, National Capital/Commercial Lead,NHS Estates and Facilities - NHS i/E

Ian Hillier, PwC Capital Projects Services Leader

Zoë Watters, PwC Corporate Finance Partner

Neil Woodings, PwC Corporate Finance Partner

Further events are being planned for 2021 and will include bespoke events around the recovery from COVID-19; diversity and inclusion; technology; workforce and capital investment.

To attend any of the above events or be kept up-to-date on all future events please fill in the form below.

"A great programme which stimulates and re energises me"

David Clayton Smith, East Sussex Healthcare

If you are interested in the NHS NEDs programme and would like to find out more, please fill out this form.

Contact us

David Morris

David Morris

Health Services Sector Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7841 784180

Quentin  Cole

Quentin Cole

Leader of Industry for Government and Health Industries, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7770 303846

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