Appointment of Non-Executive Directors

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Welcome

Dear Candidate,

We are looking for two exceptional individuals to join our Board as new Non-Executive Directors.  You will be at the heart of decision-making in an ambulance service where nearly 6,000 colleagues, 950 volunteers and over 800 students in training provide emergency and urgent care services in the most demanding of circumstances across 10,000 square miles to the people of South West England.

We are committed to ensuring our organisation delivers on its cultural vision to be one team, united in our commitment to care and in our ambition to learn, improve and innovate.   And at the heart of this is a commitment to be a more inclusive employer, welcoming all and nurturing a workplace population from a truly diverse range of backgrounds, uniting in learning from lived experiences and ensuring this is reflected in turn in our care for our communities.

We have ambitious goals around increasing our representation of black and minority ethnic groups, increasing the proportion of female leaders in operations, and ensuring more of our colleagues are supported with needs arising from their disability, enabling them to grow their careers and thrive.    We have an active number of colleague-led forums, from neurodiversity, and menopause café to disability and race equality, these are important networks, helping to support colleagues and aid organisational learning and inform meaningful change and improvement.   And in support of this we are committed to ensuring our Board represents our workplace population and the communities we serve.  We would love to hear from candidates from a diverse and wide range of backgrounds and strongly encourage applications from people with a disability, black, Asian, and minority ethnic people, LGBTQIA+ people, and women.

In this role you will contribute to the strategic and long-term direction of the Trust, work alongside regional and national partners, and scrutinise our care and services, to ensure we are delivering the best for our population.

You will share our Trust values, be driven to make a difference, and have a passion for delivering the best possible quality of care for our patients.

We are seeking two senior professionals: one with audit and risk management experience and a financial qualification to support our auditing, risk management, and improvement activities. This is with a view to chairing our Audit & Assurance Committee.

The second will support financial management and governance across SWASFT, with a view to chairing our Finance Oversight and Assurance Group. This individual will bring broad financial acumen and governance experience.

All individuals will need to demonstrate their success working across a large and complex organisation, in the public, private or third sectors. Likewise, both roles require individuals who are eager to bring new ideas and perspectives to help us be the best we can be in the context of the unprecedented demands and challenges we face now – and in the future.

We will be holding a virtual Q&A session on Thursday 26 January 2023 (further details below) for prospective candidates during which you can meet members of the Board and Council of Governors as well as colleagues who lead some of our inclusion, engagement, wellbeing, and staff network forums.   For those unable to attend this session we will record the session and make this available online.

We hope that you are excited by the opportunities described, and will be inspired to apply.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Stephen Otter
Chair

About Us

The Trust

SWASFT provides a range of emergency and urgent care services to the people of South West England (10,000 square miles which is 20% of mainland 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, acquiring our former neighbouring trust, Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) in February 2013.

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.

Our core operational focus is the delivery of emergency ambulance 999 services (A&E). We have 92 ambulance stations, two Emergency Operations Centres, and two Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART).

The Trust also provides the clinical teams for four air ambulance charities across the South West (Cornwall Air Ambulance, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, and Great Western Air Ambulance Charity) and also works closely with the Devon Air Ambulance Trust.

We employ nearly 6,000 colleagues mainly clinical and operational staff (including paramedics, emergency care assistants, advanced technicians, and nurse practitioners) plus GPs and we are supported by some 950 volunteers (including community first responders, BASICS doctors, fire co-responders, and ambulance service volunteers) and over 800 Students.

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 individual Director, is to act to promote the success of the organisation by maximising the benefits for our local communities.

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 Stephen Otter, Trust Chair and the Chair of the Council of Governors.

Will Warrender is the Chief Executive.

Luke March is the Lead Governor.

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.

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.

The Council of Governors has a statutory duty to hold the Chair and 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.

Supported by the Trust, the Council of Governors’ Remuneration and Recommendations Panel leads the recruitment of and decision on the appointment of all Non-Executive Directors. The Panel’s decision on the appointment(s) is then recommended to the full Council of Governors for ratification.

It remains the responsibility of the Board of Directors to determine and then implement agreed priorities, objectives, and the overall strategy of the NHS Foundation Trust.

Further Information

Trust Mission, Vision, Values & Goals

To view the Trust’s Mission, Vision and Goals click here.

Trust Values

  • Respect and dignity: We value each person as an individual, respect their aspirations and commitments in life, and seek to understand their priorities, needs, abilities, and limits
  • Commitment to quality of care: We earn the trust placed in us by insisting on quality and striving to get the basics of quality of care – safety, effectiveness and patient experience – right every time
  • Compassion: We ensure that compassion is central to the care we provide and we respond with humanity and kindness to each person’s pain, distress, anxiety or need
  • Improving lives: We strive to improve health and well-being and people’s experiences of the NHS
  • Working together for patients: We put patients first in everything we do, by reaching out to staff, patients, carers, families, communities and professionals inside and outside the NHS
  • Everyone counts: We maximise our resources for the benefit of the whole community, and make sure nobody is excluded, discriminated against or left behind

Core JD

Role Purpose

Collectively, the Board of Directors is responsible for the performance of the organisation to deliver high quality care and effective use of resources. The Non-Executive Directors play a vital and independent role in developing strategy and setting the direction of the Trust as well as overseeing the performance of the Executive Directors to meet the agreed goals and objectives of the Trust.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership

  • Monitor appropriate governance of the Trust which complies with the right laws and regulations, that its strategies are robust, its business plans achieved, and stakeholder and patient interests are protected
  • As a member of the Board, assess and monitor the culture of the organisation, celebrating success and taking corrective action as required, together with investing in, rewarding and promoting the wellbeing of our people
  • Have the ability to analyse Board papers and other statistics and elicit the knowledge needed to perform the role effectively while respecting executive operational responsibility and authority
  • Establish and maintain structured contact with fellow Non-Executive Directors and Executive Directors to share best practice between meetings
  • Model the Trust values, ensure these are widely communicated and that the behaviour of the Board is entirely consistent with those values
  • Promote high standards of corporate governance and personal integrity
  • Work effectively with stakeholders, including Council of Governors and public membership through a programme of engagement events and activities
  • Provide independent scrutiny ensuring excellence in management
  • Attend and contribute to Board of Directors’ meetings and Board development activities
  • Attend the annual members’ meeting and meetings with the Council of Governors and its subgroups, as appropriate
  • Act as an ambassador for the Trust in the wider health and care environment through meetings and events attendance and networking opportunities with the wider community

Strategy

  • As a member of the Board of Directors contribute to the setting of the Trust’s strategic vision, aims and objectives ensuring the necessary resources are in place
  • Monitor delivery of the Annual Plan

Performance

  • Seek assurance that the Trust operates effectively, efficiently and economically
  • Support the continued financial viability and long-term sustainability
  • Monitor the achievement of financial and quality targets and the requirements of stakeholders within available resources
  • Contribute to the objectives of the Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) and Integrated Care Boards (ICBs)
  • Undertake such training as is necessary to fulfil the role, including any mandatory training requirements
  • Participate in an annual review and appraisal with the Chair

Governance

  • Monitor and seek assurance on the comprehensive framework of governance and system of internal control established across the Trust so that risks are effectively managed
  • Support compliance with regulatory standards
  • Promote the systematic delivery of excellent, safe, compassionate care that is patient and family centred
  • Actively support the Board of Directors working in conjunction with the Council of Governors to promote the interests of Foundation Trust Members
  • Determine the appropriate level of remuneration for Executive Directors (through membership of the Remuneration Committee)
  • As Chair and members of committees of the Board of Directors ensure information flows are timely and appropriate and the necessary assurances are sought and reported effectively
  • Effectively engage with key stakeholders

 

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Personal Qualities

  • Strong team player with a collaborative and engaging working style
  • Positive relationship builder, able to form alliances and work diplomatically across complex interfaces and with external partners
  • The desire and ability to put the patient at the heart of all Trust matters and to strive continuously to improve patient care
  • Sufficient time and commitment to fulfil the role
  • The ability to command respect from others
  • A commitment to uphold the NHS Constitution and principles of good governance applicable to NHS Foundation Trusts
  • Be independent minded and have integrity

Skills

  • Excellent communication skills with ability to work with a range of key stakeholders, including Governors and Members
  • The ability to challenge Board Directors, clinicians, and partners to deliver difficult messages whilst retaining the respect and confidence of all parties
  • Strong analytical skills, and the ability to review and interpret complex data, spot trends and risks and evaluate a range of options
  • A sound strategic thinker
  • A clear understanding of our culture, values and the demographics and the community that we serve
  • Highly developed interpersonal, influencing and communication skills
  • Proven leadership skills with the ability to stay non-executive
  • Ability to understand complex strategic issues, analyse and resolve difficult problems as well as the ability to question, debate and challenge
  • Sound, independent judgement, common sense, and diplomacy
  • Politically astute, with the ability to grasp relevant issues and understand relationships between interested parties
  • Effective networking skills

SWASFT believes the Board should represent its workforce and the communities they serve, and so is committed to appointing diverse, talented, and high-performing individuals, welcoming applications from candidates from underrepresented communities.

Appointments are made in keeping with SWASFT’s commitment to value diversity and promote equality in that there should be equal opportunities for all and no discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation, providing individuals meet the required criteria.

The position specification is not exhaustive. There will be other accountabilities not specified here that would be expected from a Non-Executive Director.

The Roles

Non-Executive Director - Audit & Assurance Committee Chair (AQ1645)

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The role of the Audit & Assurance Chair is key in providing effective leadership to the Audit & Assurance Committee.

The Audit & Assurance Committee and its members play a crucial role in the governance of the Trust scrutinising the risks and controls affecting every aspect of the business. The Audit & Assurance Chair must therefore have a clear understanding of the committee’s duties and responsibilities, be able to commit the necessary time and have the requisite business, financial, communication and leadership skills.

In addition to the role outlined in the core job description, the Audit & Assurance Committee Chair must:

  • Chair all meetings of the Audit & Assurance Committee (c. 5 meetings per annum)
  • Provide leadership to the Audit & Assurance Committee to ensure that it is effective in its role and that internal control systems are in place and operating
  • Work with Executive Leads to provide the Audit & Assurance Committee with timely access to all the information it requires
  • Facilitate the contribution of all members of the Audit & Assurance Committee, auditors, and other invited participants
  • Provide the Board with sound advice, assurance, and useful and timely reports from the committee
  • Bring independent financial acumen to the work of the Audit & Assurance Committee across its governance, risk management, assurance, and internal control functions
  • The Audit & Assurance Chair must have a relationship with internal and external auditors for the Trust

Knowledge and Experience

  • Financially qualified with experience in audit and risk management in a large complex organisation in the public, private or third sectors, or senior experience in a professional services accountancy firm with experience of working with a range of clients
  • Prior experience as a Non-Executive Director / Governor / Trustee but not necessarily within health
  • Significant senior level experience gained in a large organisation, preferably regulated and customer facing and with board operating knowledge
  • An interest in understanding the NHS and its statutory requirements, governance, and principles
  • Clear understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, liabilities, and responsibilities of Non-Executive Directors

Non-Executive Director - Finance Oversight & Assurance Group Chair (AQ1646)

Apply

The role of the Finance Oversight & Assurance Group Chair is key in providing effective leadership to the Finance Oversight & Assurance Group (a Sub-Committee of the Board).

The Finance Oversight & Assurance Group and its members play a crucial role in the governance of the Trust, ensuring an independent and objective review of the organisation’s financial planning and performance, providing assurance to the Board of Directors. The Finance Oversight & Assurance Group Chair must therefore have a clear understanding of the committee’s duties and responsibilities, be able to commit the necessary time and have the requisite business, financial, communication and leadership skills.

In addition to the role outlined in the core job description, the Finance Oversight & Assurance Group Chair must:

  • Chair all meetings of the Finance Oversight & Assurance Group (c. 4 meetings per annum)
  • Provide leadership to the Finance Oversight & Assurance Group to ensure that it is effective in its role and that assurance in respect of the organisation’s financial planning and performance is delivered to the Board.
  • Work with Executive Leads to provide the Finance Oversight & Assurance Group with timely access to all the information it requires
  • Facilitate the contribution of all members of the Finance Oversight & Assurance Group and other invited participants
  • Provide the Board with sound advice, assurance, and useful and timely reports from the committee
  • Bring independent financial acumen to the work of the Finance Oversight & Assurance Group across the organisation’s financial planning and financial performance.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Broad business skills developed in a complex environment with strong financial acumen in a large complex organisation in the public, private or third sectors
  • Board operating knowledge; either as an executive or non-executive
  • An interest in understanding the NHS and its statutory requirements, governance, and principles
  • Clear understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, liabilities, and responsibilities of Non-Executive Directors

Virtual Q&A

SWASFT will be holding a virtual Q&A session on Thursday 26th January 2023 from 17:00 to 18:30 for prospective candidates during which you can meet members of the Board and Council of Governors as well as colleagues who lead some of our inclusion, engagement, wellbeing, and staff network forums.

If you would like to attend this meeting then please email Corporate.meeting@swast.nhs.uk for details of how to join.

For those unable to attend we will record the session and make this available online.  Alternatively, a written transcript can be made available following the meeting on request.

Terms & Conditions

To be able to take up this appointment the successful candidate must be a public member of South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust. Membership of a public constituency is open to individuals who live in the Trust’s catchment area.

Details of how to become a member can be found on their website: http://www.swast.nhs.uk/membership.htm

  • Non-executive Directors will receive £13,000 per annum
  • Remuneration is taxable and subject to National Insurance Contributions. It is not pensionable
  • Non-executive Directors are also eligible to claim allowances, at rates set by the Foundation Trust for travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred on Trust business
  • Non-Executive Directors at SWASFT must devote sufficient time to ensure satisfactory discharge of their duties. This will be a minimum of 4 days per month. This will comprise a mixture of set commitments (such as board meetings, council of governor meetings and committee meetings) and more flexible arrangements for ad hoc events, reading and preparation. Most of the time commitment will be during the working day. However, some evening work will be required including meeting with staff and stakeholders
  • Board meetings currently take place every three months, on the last Thursday of the month (although this may be subject to change, dependent on the needs of the Trust)
  • The Trust currently holds 2 day Board Strategy and Development Events every 3 months and Board Training Days – one day every 3 months
  • This appointment will be for up to 3 years and will be subject to an annual performance review
  • A further term of appointment can be considered at the end of the first period of office subject to consistently good performance and the needs of the organisation. A degree of change is often sought on boards and there should therefore be no expectation of automatic re-appointment
  • You should also note that this post is a public appointment or statutory office rather than a job and is therefore not subject to the provisions of employment law. To ensure that public service values are maintained at the heart of the National Health Service, Non-executive Directors are required to subscribe to the Code of Conduct and Standing Orders and Standing Financial instructions for the Foundation Trust
  • As a non-executive you must demonstrate high standards of corporate and personal conduct. Details of what is required of you and the NHS board on which you serve are set out in the Codes of Conduct as outlined above
  • 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

The catchment area of the Trust is defined as follows:

  • The former Avon area – Bristol, North Somerset including Bath, and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG)
  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • Gloucestershire
  • Somerset
  • Wiltshire

Eligibility & Disqualification

Declarations

As a NED you must remain independent and make an annual declaration of independence.

A NED 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 their judgment. As a NED 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.

Eligibility

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 the catchment area of the Trust

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.

You will be asked to sign a declaration (see “How to apply”) 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 Friday 10 February 2023.

AQ References:

  • AQ1645 – Non-Executive Director Audit & Assurance Committee Chair
  • AQ1646 – Non-Executive Director Finance Oversight & Assurance Group Chair

Applications should consist of:

  • A full CV (maximum of two pages)
  • 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 cover letter. Referees will not be approached until the final stages and not without prior permission from candidates
  • Please complete the Fit and Proper Person Declaration Form and attach to your application

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

To download the context of this pack, please go to the top of the screen and press the download button. If you require this information in another format, please contact Helene at Anderson Quigley. Similarly, if you require any reasonable adjustments to be made during the course of this recruitment process, please let our recruiters know at your earliest convenience.

Timetable

Virtual Q&A Event for Prospective Candidates Thursday 26 January 2023
Close of advertisement and search Friday 10 February
Longlist Monday 27 February
Preliminary Interview with Anderson Quigley w/c Monday 27 February and Monday 06 March via Teams
Shortlist Wednesday 15 March
Informal Conversations with Team at SWASFT w/c Monday 20 March
Final Panel Interviews at SWASFT w/c Monday 27 March (TBC)