• Prime minister asked health secretary to investigate following request from Conservative MP Bob Blackman
  • NHSE/I says NEDs’ contracts due to expire in September and October

The prime minister has asked Matt Hancock to investigate the “removal” of two non-exec directors from the board of a specialist hospital trust.

Boris Johnson’s request to examine the departure of two non-executive directors at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, north London, came at the request of local Conservative MP Bob Blackman.

Mr Blackman, who is also a member of the powerful Tory back-bench 1922 committee, told the House of Commons during last week’s prime minister’s questions that Bertie Leigh and Michael Rosehill “have sadly been dismissed from the board” and asked the PM to find out why they had been ”removed from the board by NHS London”.

In response to HSJ inquiries, NHS England and Improvement London said Mr Rosehill’s contract was due to expire in September and Mr Leigh’s in October. 

In a statement, it added: “Both NEDs were informed that their terms would not be extended alongside the appointment of the new chair, as per the NHS England/Improvement appointments process.”

Neither Mr Leigh, a senior lawyer working in health, nor Mr Rosehill responded to requests for comment.

Mr Leigh was appointed as an RNOH NED in 2015, and Mr Rosehill in October 2017.

Late last month, NHSE/I London announced Dominic Dodd, the chair of Royal Free London Foundation Trust, would also chair the RNOH. Mr Dodd’s term at RNOH is four years.