Medicopolitical Digest

NHS appointments will be vettedBMA warns about patient data being sold to third partiesFrom the BMA council..Social services costs will be reviewedHow to provide secondary care in general practice

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7040.1232 (Published 11 May 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1232
  1. Linda Beecham

    NHS appointments will be vetted

    Sir Leonard Peach, former chief executive of the NHS and now the newly appointed commissioner for public appointments, has issued a code of practice governing some 8300 ministerial appointments, including those to 654 NHS trusts and health authorities. Sir Leonard's post and the new code both stem from recommendations by the Nolan committee to raise standards in public life.

    From July, appointments to NHS bodies or government quangos should be advertised and subject to scrutiny by assessment panels, one third of whose members must be independent of the Department of Health. Candidates should be asked whether they have been publicly active in a political party or spoken in support. The stated intention is to monitor the political activities of candidates for public appointment, although they are not expected to divulge their voting habits or private membership of a political party. Candidates must subscribe to the objectives of the body in which they are interested.

    Sir Leonard, who is paid £65000, said he aims for a true “meritocracy” with posts filled by people chosen for what they could offer rather than for who they know. He said that the spouses of members of parliament would not be barred since they had every right to have careers of their own.

    The public appointments unit in the cabinet office maintains a register of about 5000 people willing to be considered for public appointment. They have either nominated themselves or been nominated by …

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