Board members

Board members bring a range of complementary skills and experience in areas such as finance, governance and health policy.

NHS Improvement non-executive directors

NHS Improvement’s non-executive directors are:

Chair

Baroness Dido Harding

Baroness Dido Harding

Dido became Chair of NHS Improvement on 30 October 2017.

She is a Non-Executive director and Deputy Chair on The Court of the Bank of England. She sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative peer and is a member of the Economic Affairs Select Committee. She is a member of the UK National Holocaust Memorial Foundation Advisory Board and a Non Executive Director of the Jockey Club.

From May 2020 to April 2021 she was Executive Chair of NHS Test and Trace and Interim Chair of the Institute for Health Protection. She was interim Chair of Genomics England from December 2020 to May 2021 and stepped down in September 2020 from her role as non-executive director of Genomics England to concentrate on her role in the national COVID response. From 2010 to May 2017 she was Chief Executive of TalkTalk Telecom Group plc from 2010 to May 2017. Prior to TalkTalk, Dido was Sainsbury’s convenience director, having been appointed to Sainsbury’s operating board in March 2008. Dido joined Sainsbury’s from Tesco plc where she held a variety of senior roles both in the UK and international businesses. Before this, she worked at Kingfisher plc and Thomas Cook Limited where she gained considerable retail experience. She has also served on the boards of the British Land Company plc and Cheltenham Racecourse.

Dido is married to politician John Penrose, has two children and, in what spare time she has left, is a jockey and racehorse owner.

Vice Chair

Sir Andrew Morris

Sir Andrew Morris, OBE, Hon FRCP

Sir Andrew joined us as a Non-executive Director on 1 August 2018 and is the current Vice Chair.

Sir Andrew has over 40 years’  experience in NHS management and has held a range of senior NHS appointments. He was appointed General Manager of Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 1989 and was the Chief Executive from 1991 to February 2018.

Sir Andrew managed the establishment of the Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit in 1996 and successfully led Frimley Park’s application to become a Foundation Trust in 2005.

In 2014 he led the acquisition of Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to create Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. He is a member of the Institute of Health Service Management and an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

He was knighted in January 2015 for services to public health.

Non-Executive Director

Lord Patrick Carter of Coles

Lord Patrick Carter of Coles

Lord Carter has pursued a successful career in business and in public service.

He was educated at Brentwood School and after receiving a degree in Economics from Durham University Patrick joined an investment bank. What followed is a career creating, developing and selling businesses. He founded Westminster Health Care in 1985 which he built into a leading provider of care to both the private and public sectors in the UK. Patrick has served on the Boards of US and UK healthcare, insurance and technology companies and is currently Chair of Primary Insurance Group.

He was Chair of Sport England from 2002 to 2006, Board member of the London 2012 Olympic bid, a Member of HM Treasury’s Productivity Panel and a non-executive member of the Home Office and Prisons Boards. He is also Chair of the Department of Health Procurement and Efficiency Board.

Patrick has also chaired a number of challenging government reviews including Criminal Records Bureau, Offender Management, the Procurement of Legal Aid, Commonwealth Games 2002, The English National Stadium (Wembley), National Athletics, Public Diplomacy and Pathology Services.

He was made a Life Peer in 2004.

Non-Executive Director

Wol Kolade

Wol Kolade joined us as a Non-executive Director on 1 August 2018.

Wol is the Managing Partner and Head at Livingbridge.

He joined the firm in 1993 and is responsible for the leadership and strategic development of the firm — and takes an active involvement in the firm’s investments. He trained as an engineer, having studied civil and structural engineering at King’s College London and spent three years with Barclays in various head office roles, before joining Livingbridge.

He is the Chairman of the Guys and St Thomas’ Charity and a member of Scale Up Taskforce, Department of Business, Engineering and Industrial Strategy.

Non-executive Director

Sir Munir Pirmohamed

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed is currently David Weatherall Chair in Medicine at the University of Liverpool, and a Consultant Physician at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.  He is Director of the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Sciences, and Director of the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicine. He is also an inaugural NIHR Senior Investigator, and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the UK. He is also Commissioner on Human Medicines for the MHRA. He has authored over 500 peer-reviewed publications, with research focusing on genomic and non-genomic technologies that can be developed and used to progress the field of personalized medicine in an evidence-based, cost-effective and equitable manner.

Rakesh Kapoor

Non-executive Director

Rakesh Kapoor

Rakesh Kapoor served as the Group Chief Executive of RB plc (Reckitt Benckiser) from 2011 to 2019. RB plc is a UK based Top 10 FTSE company with sales in over 200 countries and with more than 40,000 employees.

During his 8 years as CEO, Rakesh strategically repositioned the company away from a household cleaning company to a Global leader in Health and Hygiene. He was responsible for creating a mission driven company providing innovative solutions for people to be healthy and live better. The product portfolio transformed from just 20% of the business in Consumer Healthcare to over 60% now. The total shareholder returns during his tenure were 12% pa, more than double that of FTSE 100.

He is exceptionally proud of the RB ‘Save a child a minute’ program, which provided ground-breaking work in cutting by half the number of children under five dying globally from Diarrhoea.

Rakesh brings deep knowledge of consumer health and digital innovation in addition to his extensive commercial experience in a large global business.

During his 21 years at RB he served a variety of senior leadership management roles both in the UK and internationally.

His roles included: EVP, Category Development responsible for Global Marketing, R and D, Strategy, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Northern Europe and Marketing Director, South Asia and VP Marketing, India

Rakesh was educated in India and holds an MBA in Business Administration and a Bachelors in Engineering (Hons)

Associate Non-Executive Director

Sir David Behan

Sir David Behan

Sir David was the first Chief Inspector of the Commission for Social Care Inspection in 2003. Three years later, he was appointed to the Department of Health as the Director General for Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships. During this time he worked on personalised care, carers learning and disability policy, mental health policy, and the reform of social care funding and legislation. He was also a member of the NHS Management Board.

In 2012,  Sir David was appointed to the role of Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission, where he led a team to conduct a fundamental review of the quality and safety regulation of health and care in England. In 2017, he was awarded a knighthood for services to health and care in the New Year’s Honours list.

Sir David was appointed as Chair of Health Education England in December 2018.

NHS Improvement executive directors

NHS Improvement’s executive directors are:

National Medical Director and Interim NHS Improvement Chief Executive Officer

Professor Stephen H Powis, National Medical Director

Professor Stephen Powis

Since the start of 2018 Stephen has been National Medical Director of NHS England. He is also Professor of Renal Medicine at University College London. Stephen was appointed Interim NHS Improvement Chief Executive Officer on 3 August 2021.

Previously he was Medical Director (and latterly Group Chief Medical Officer) of the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust from 2006 to 2018. Professor Powis was also a member of the governing body of Merton Clinical Commissioning Group for five years and a Director of Healthcare Services Laboratories LLP.

He is a past chairman of the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board Specialty Advisory Committee for Renal Medicine and a former board member of Medical Education England. He was Director of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education for UCLPartners from 2010-13.

He is a past treasurer and trustee of the British Transplantation Society and a former member of the UK Transplant Kidney Pancreas Advisory Group.

Chief Financial Officer

Julian Kelly

Julian Kelly

Julian took up post as the first joint Chief Financial Officer for NHS England and NHS Improvement in April 2019.

He held his previous role as Director General Nuclear, leading the Defence Nuclear Organisation at the Ministry of Defence, from May 2017.

Prior to his role at MoD, Julian was Director General of Public Spending and Finance at HM Treasury. In this role Julian led the work on the 2013 spending round.

Julian has held a number of other roles in the public sector, including as finance director at HM Treasury and the UK Border Agency, and in the private sector at HSBC.

He is a qualified chartered accountant and member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Chief Nursing Officer, England

Ruth May

Ruth May

Ruth is the Chief Nursing Officer for England and an Executive/National Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement. She is also the National Director responsible for infection prevention and control.

Ruth was appointed following her roles as Executive Director of Nursing at NHS Improvement, which commenced in April 2016, and Director of Nursing at Monitor, the healthcare sector regulator.

Prior to joining Monitor, she was Regional Chief Nurse and Nurse Director for the Midlands and East region in NHS England, where she championed the ‘Stop the Pressure’ campaign, which nearly halved the number of pressure ulcers in the region, improving care for patients, as well as delivering cost savings to the NHS.

Ruth is passionate about nurturing the next generation of NHS nursing, midwifery and allied health professions (AHP) leaders, encouraging professional development opportunities and working across the health system to put in place the optimal cultural conditions for all NHS employees to thrive. This includes advocating for improved mental health awareness in the workplace, championing volunteer activity to support the frontline workforce and being a vocal supporter of the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard agenda and increased diversity across the NHS.

Ruth began her career with a variety of nursing roles before becoming a theatre sister at Frimley Park Hospital. She was Acting Director of Nursing at Barnet Hospital before being appointed the substantive Director of Nursing and Deputy Chief Executive with Havering Primary Care Trust.

In October 2005, she became Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, a post she held for two years. She has also been Chief Executive of Mid-Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust.