The appointment of South East regional chair Sir William Wells as chair of the new NHS Appointments Commission has prompted fierce criticism from shadow health secretary Dr Liam Fox.Sir William will head a team of regional commissioners responsible for recruiting and appraising non-executives.Dr Fox described the appointment of Sir William - who recently urged trusts to meet the waiting-list targets in line with 'our manifesto commitment'- as 'unacceptable'.

Dr Fox claimed: 'It shows that willingness to comply with ministerial diktats is now the best way to get on in the NHS.'