The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.

Everyone has a view about the kind of person they’d like to nominate to be on the NHS England board – if you listened to them all you’d end up with an impractical jamboree with dozens of representatives trying to have their say. You know, like an integrated care partnership.

Its membership has swayed this way and that over the years – initially having more health charity leaders, and with clinical representation ebbing and flowing.

Four full board members were hired earlier this year, reflecting an apparently healthy mixture of business, academia, public health, and – at last – a general practitioner in the redoubtable Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard.

Yet notwithstanding all this, there does seem to be a curious penchant for people who’ve spent their career in banking.

On Wednesday NHSE announced two senior figures from a bank and building society – with particular specialisms in operations, tech and HR – were joining as “associate non-executive directors”. NHSE chair Richard Meddings had a long career in senior banking positions; while one of its deputy chairs, Wol Kolade, is the managing partner and head at private equity firm Livingbridge and previously did a long stint at Barclays.

There’s nothing wrong with loving money (or is there?), but bankers making up nearly a third of the NED positions seem a strange place to be.

Quite how it came to pass we don’t know (nor what is the actual point of non-voting associate NEDs). We do know that the latest round of appointments follow a long hiatus when, one can speculate, former health and social care secretary Steve Barclay (another one with a banking background) was sitting forever on the approvals.

Also at NHSE…

NHSE has announced a raft of new directors as part of a significant shake-up, including one for women’s health.

Sue Mann, a consultant and lead for women’s health in north east London, has been appointed to the role and will lead the implementation of the new women’s health strategy for England.

Dr Mann is one of several appointees announced today, as NHSE has continued to fill out its 27 national director roles. NHSE previously confirmed 19 NCD appointments, including eight new appointments, earlier this year.

An NCD for mental health is still being sought, alongside a first-ever medical director for mental health and neurodiversity, as part of an overhaul of national leadership for those services.

Also on today

Former Cornwall Partnership medical director Ellen Wilkinson has been appointed by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust to chair the independent review into dozens of deaths by suicide which have happened since 2017. Meanwhile, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust has purchased the 28-bed Tunbridge Wells Hospital from Spire for almost £10m. And this fortnight’s The Integrator discusses proposals put forward by a think tank this week to scrap NHSE and shift power to regional local government instead.