No 91

Pocket profile

Well-known NHS chair in the early 1990s, at Gloucester health authority, then South Western RHA and South and West RHA: in her time the only woman on the NHS policy board.

So, one of those infamous Tory placements?

Apparently not. She claims she was turned down for a job by Kenneth Clarke when he was health secretary because 'I was not necessarily politically sound'. Virginia Bottomley was much more sympathetic.

Great NHS non-exec career. What happened?

Resigned as chair of South and West RHA after it lost RHA status in 1996. 'I looked at the agenda and it had changed. [It was about] keeping a lid on things rather than making a difference. In the last year I was there it seemed the NHS was just interested in short-term delivery.'

Where is she now?

A busy consultant and lecturer.

Visiting professor at York University; chair of the Pennell Initiative on health for women in later life; member of the General Medical Council. Etc.

Any regrets?

'The NHS did need to become business-like to an extent, but I have a real sadness that it went too far.'


To be an executive chair - in the NHS or elsewhere.