Published: 24/10/2002, Volume II2, No. 5828 Page 7

Primary care trust non-executive directors have accused NHS Appointments Commission chair Sir William Wells of ignoring their opinions at a series of roadshows on their role, and have said the proposal to halve their time commitment is unworkable.

Speaking at the NHS Alliance annual conference in Harrogate last week, delegates said Sir William was not listening to their concerns in the meetings he is addressing across the country on changing the time commitment and role of non-executive directors.

An NHS Alliance survey of PCT chairs and non-executive directors released at the conference also found that over three-quarters said they could not do their job in 2.5 days a month, as is proposed. However, Sir William rejected the accusations and said there had to be changes to get a greater diversity of people in the roles.

He told the conference: 'We are not stopping people from doing more than 2.5 days per month.

We are concerned, and I know ministers are concerned, that we do not have a very diverse group of people in our non-executives.We know that we will not get people in full-time employment if you have five days a month.

'I will be disappointed if nonexecutives do not put in more than 2.5 days per month from their own time. We know most nonexecutives put in more time because they enjoy it.'