Published: 10/02/2005, Volume II5, No. 5942 Page 8

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals trust chief executive John Rostill has promised that the NHS Employers organisation will be anchored by a 'realistic and practical' approach through his stewardship of its newly established assembly.

Speaking to HSJ following his unveiling as chair of the new 204strong assembly, Mr Rostill said its role as part of the representative body was a momentous opportunity for the NHS.

'[NHS Employers] is picking up much of the work the Department of Health has been doing since 1948, so we need to make sure we approach it with new eyes and new vision, ' he said. 'People have often complained about employers not having a voice in negotiations and in determining NHS employment strategy and policy - that is no longer the case.' Assembly members - who have been drawn from each strategic health authority area, representing each type of NHS organisation - will be expected to meet once a quarter to advise its 22-strong policy board, which determines strategic direction of the organisation.

It will hold its inaugural meeting on 28 February to start drawing up its policy blueprint for 2005-06.