The Government has hailed new statistics on the type of people holding appointments on NHS trusts and authorities as evidence that it is making the service more representative of the communities it serves.
The numbers of women, members of ethnic minorities, NHS users, carers or voluntary workers and also people local to the area serving on boards of authorities or trusts has risen.
The Government revised criteria for appointments to NHS trust and authority boards in June last year.
In the year to 1 May 1998, 36% of chairs and 52% of non-executives appointed were women and 9% of appointees were drawn from the ethnic minority population. In the same period over 30% of people appointed were NHS users and carers, or voluntary workers.
All appointments have been made in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Commission for Public Appointments, which ensures that appointments are made on merit after an open and transparent recruitment and selection process involving advertisements and independent assessors.
Frank Dobson, Secretary of State for Health, said: “I will be making more NHS Trust and Health Authority appointments in the course of this year. We will again make sure they are more Representative of the communities they serve.