Members of the HSJ Future of NHS Leadership inquiry will look at how the service and attract and retain strong leaders from the bedside to the boardroom

Members of the HSJ Future of NHS Leadership inquiry expect the issue of recruitment and retention to be central to their work.

Speaking after the first formal meeting of the inquiry, members revealed that they had already heard significant evidence on the problem of attracting top talent to the health service. The challenge of keeping people in post is also emerging as an important theme of the inquiry.

HSJ research, published this week, shows that more than a third of provider organisations have at least one executive director post vacant or filled by an interim.

More than 30 years on from the publication of the seminal Griffiths report, which introduced general management to the NHS, the HSJ Future of NHS Leadership inquiry is exploring what leadership is required for the NHS to thrive today and into the future.

The panel members will be hearing evidence for the rest of the year, with their final report due to be published early in 2015.

A public call for evidence is open, and will remain so until the end of the year.