Appointment of Non-Executive Director(s)


Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the role of Non-Executive Director at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT). I am delighted that you are considering joining us and appreciate you taking the time to read this website.

The Trust is looking to appoint two Non-Executive Directors who will continue to develop the Trust’s external relationships, provide excellent support and challenge to the organisation, and lead as part of a Board of Directors to ensure the continued success of the Trust both for the patients we serve and the people we employ.

SWASFT celebrates multiple points of view, and we believe diversity drives innovation. As such, we would particularly welcome applications from those who are significantly underrepresented in our sector; women, disabled people, and individuals from BAME and LGBTQ communities.

Whilst experience of the NHS is not necessary, we are looking for individuals who have significant board-level experience and who can bring senior leadership experience. As we have two vacancies, we are seeking skills in the following areas.

  • Senior HR experience: ideally those who have led on a significant people agenda and who have impacted on the culture of an organisation
  • Clinical experience: either as a practising clinician or those whose work has focussed on the development of clinical quality and standards

Over the past two years, our people have continued to provide first class and exceptional care to patients whilst working under significant pressure, working tirelessly in the face of adversity. As a result, however, we need to ensure that we continue supporting our staff, ensuring their health and wellbeing is a priority as well as meeting the needs of our local community.

We want to continue to build a board for the future, with the right skills, behaviours, and attitudes to inspire our people to deliver the best possible patient care that they can, in the communities that we serve.

We hope that you are excited by this challenge, and as such, you will be inspired to apply.

Tony Fox
Trust Chairman

About us

The Trust

SWASFT provides a range of emergency and urgent care services to the people of South West of England. We work in a way that upholds the values and pledges of the NHS Constitution and are proud to embrace innovation and actively promote best practice.

SWASFT was the first ambulance service to be authorised as an NHS Foundation Trust on 1 March 2011.

Since acquiring our former neighbouring trust, Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) in February 2013, our operating area now covers a fifth of England.

Our geographical area encompasses Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath, North and North East Somerset, and South Gloucestershire.

We deliver the Accident and Emergency (A&E) 999 ambulance service across the South West and also provide the following:

  • Hazardous Area Response Team (HART)
  • GP Out-of-Hours services in Dorset
  • NHS 111 services in Dorset
  • Tiverton Urgent Care Centre
  • Patient Transport Services (PTS) for the Isles of Scilly
  • A number of other urgent care service contracts, including a Single Point of Access (SPoA) service to healthcare professionals in Dorset, dental call-handling and triage, Out-of-Hours services to prisons in Dorset, and GP practice telephone cover.

We operate from more than 100 sites, including nearly one hundred ambulance stations, six air bases, and two emergency clinical hubs.

The Board

Every NHS foundation trust should be headed by an effective board of directors. The board is collectively responsible for the performance of the NHS foundation trust.

The general duty of the board of directors, and of each director individually, is to act with a view to promoting the success of the organisation as to maximise the benefits for the members of the trust as a whole and for the public.

As a unitary board, the Non-Executive Directors and Executive Directors make decisions as a single group and share the same responsibility and liability.

The Board is led by Tony Fox, Trust Chairman and the Chairman of the Council of Governors.

Will Warrender is the Chief Executive.

Our Board has 15 Board Members who meet on a monthly basis on the last Thursday of every month.

Council of Governors 

The Board of Directors also has a framework of local accountability through members and a Council of Governors, which replaced central control from the Secretary of State for Health. NHS foundation trust Governors hold the Non-Executive Directors, individually and collectively, responsible for the performance of this unitary board.

The council of governors has a statutory duty to hold the non-executive directors individually and collectively to account for the performance of the board of directors. This includes ensuring the board of directors acts so that the foundation trust does not breach the conditions of its licence.

The council of governors is responsible for representing the interests of NHS foundation trust members and the public in the governance of the NHS foundation trust. Governors must act in the best interests of the NHS foundation trust and should adhere to its values and code of conduct.

Governors are responsible for regularly feeding back information about the trust, its vision and its performance to members and the public and the stakeholder organisation’s that either elected or appointed them. The trust should ensure governors have appropriate support to help them discharge this duty.

The Council of Governors’ Remuneration and Recommendations Panel will lead and decide on the appointment of Non-Executive Directors. They will be supported by the Trust and the recommendation of the Panel will be made to the whole Council of Governors in terms of who should be appointed.

It remains the responsibility of the board of directors to design and then implement agreed priorities, objectives and the overall strategy of the NHS foundation trust.


Mission, Vision, Values & Goals

The role

Non-Executive Director(s)

Job reference:

We are an open and inclusive board and organisation and welcome applications from any candidate, from all parts of our community who meets the following criteria.

All non-executive directors must champion the standard for public life, upholding the highest standards of conduct and displaying the principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.

To be a successful candidate, you will need to demonstrate the range of behaviors required to contribute effectively to this board role.

Given the significant public profile and responsibility that our Board Members hold, it is vital that those appointed inspire the confidence of our people and our patients.

Essential characteristics that you must be able to demonstrate:

  • A genuine commitment to putting patients at the heart of what we do;
  • An ability to shape and actively support a healthy culture and the people within it;
  • The skills to build an open and transparent relationship built on trust with the Council of Governors and other key stakeholders;
  • Independent judgment and the ability to think objectively, creatively, and willing to speak your mind;
  • Accountability for the decisions made;
  • A willingness to collaborate and challenge appropriately, to effectively develop and deliver the organisational strategy and its goals;
  • A commitment to promoting good practice and compliance in all matters of good governance, in particular, equality and diversity and sound risk management; and
  • Experience of operating and being visible as a Senior Executive or at Board level.

Candidates should also be able to demonstrate a track record of experience in one of the following areas:

  • Organisational development and transformation: in particular the development of people and culture;
  • Operational logistics and management: ideally in a multi-site environment with a focus on transformation and change; and
  • Digital Technology: specifically data analytics and information management.


Tenure & Term of Office

You should note that this post is a public appointment and is therefore offered as a term of office rather than a contract of employment.  As it is not an offer of employment, it is not subject to the provisions of employment law. There is no annual leave, no sickness provision, and no pension.

This appointment will be for up to three years and will be subject to annual performance review completed by the Trust Chairman.

It may be extended for a further term if agreed by the Council of Governors.  Any subsequent terms will be offered on a one-year basis up to a maximum of six years.


The role is remunerated at £13,000 per annum and the expected commitment for the role is approximately 4 days per month which will be paid in 12 equal amounts on a monthly basis.

More on the time commitment can be found below.

Remuneration is taxable and subject to National Insurance Contributions.

You are also eligible to claim allowances, for travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred on Trust business. The current mileage rate is 56p per mile.


As a Non-Executive Director, you must devote sufficient time to ensure the satisfactory discharge of your duties.  The time commitment will comprise a mixture of set commitments such as meetings (Board, Council of Governor and committee meetings) and more flexible arrangements for ad hoc events, reading, and preparation.

You should be available on the last Thursday of the month to attend meetings, and if you join a committee you will be expected to attend one meeting per quarter.   You are also required to attend a minimum of two council of governors meetings per year.

Occasional conference calls may be required.  You will have a trust email account and be expected to keep in touch with the Trust Chairman, Trust Secretary, and Executive Lead.

You will also be expected to devote time to being visible in the Trust, engaging with our people and triangulating the information that you have acquired.

Induction & Training

Your induction and training plan will be developed with you so that it is bespoke to your needs as a Non-executive Director. It will be a mixture of internal and external and will provide you with organizational and sector-specific familiarisation.

Appraisal Arrangements

As a Non-Executive Director, your appraisal will be conducted on an annual basis by the Trust Chairman.  Feedback will be sought from the Executive Directors, Non- Executive Directors and Council of Governors on a confidential basis and shared with you.

Support for you as a Non-Executive Director

You will be assigned another Non-Executive as a guide/mentor as part of your induction and have an Executive buddy. You will also have regular one to ones with the Trust Chairman and access to the Trust Secretary’s team for support

Eligibility & Disqualification


As a Non-Executive of the Trust you must remain independent and make an annual declaration of independence.

To be independent, a Director must show that they are independent in character and judgment and whether there are relationships or circumstances which are likely to affect, or could appear to affect, the Director’s judgment.

As a Non-executive Director you must demonstrate high standards of corporate and personal conduct.

You will be required to declare any conflict of interest that arises in the course of board business and also declare any relevant business interests, positions of authority or other connections with commercial, public or voluntary bodies. These will be published in the annual report with details of all board members’ remuneration from NHS sources.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your declarations and independence remain in place during your tenure.


To be able to take up this appointment the successful candidate will be eligible for public membership of South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust. Any applicant, who is not a member of the Trust, can apply to join as part of their application.

To become a member you must:

  • Be over 16
  • Live in any of the counties that we serve.

Fit & Proper Person Test

The purpose of the Fit and Proper Persons Test is to strengthen registration requirements and increase accountability of the controlling mind of health and social care providers.

The Fit and Proper Persons Test applies to all NHS providers and was introduced in October 2014. The aim of the test is to specifically assess the fitness of you as a Director to carry out a leading role for the relevant health and social care provider.

Your appointment will be subject to meeting the necessary checks for this post including an enhanced DBS check, bankruptcy check and disqualified directors’ check; as well as tests around the independence of your role and criteria explained in the disqualification section above.

You will be asked to sign a declaration that you meet these requirements and the Trust Secretary will undertake these checks.

How to Apply

Anderson Quigley is acting as an advisor to SWASFT. An executive search process is being carried out by Anderson Quigley in addition to the public advertisement.

The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 11 February.

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV.
  • A covering letter (maximum of two pages) setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the person specification criteria.
  • Please include the email addresses of two referees on either your CV or covering letter. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates.
  • Please complete the following online Equal Opportunity Monitoring Form. 

Completed applications should be uploaded at using the AQ reference number AQ1337.

Should you wish to discuss the role in strict confidence, please contact our advising consultant at Anderson Quigley: Helene Usherwood on or +44(0)7719 322 669


Closing date for applications noon on Friday 11 February
Longlist Meeting Friday 18 February
Preliminary Interviews between candidate & Helene Usherwood Monday 21 February – Friday 25 February
Shortlist Meeting Wednesday 02 March
Final Panel Interviews Wednesday 16 March OR Wednesday 23 March