The salaries of NHS Commissioning Board’s senior executives have been released to HSJ.

Wages for the 10 executive director posts total £1.7m.

The rates are similar to those of current Department of Health director generals and strategic health authority senior directors.

The DH has also released some details of how the appointments are being made.

The information has been released to HSJ on request. It comes as the board develops its structure, details of which will be released over the next year. These details may spark renewed scrutiny of whether the NHS reforms will “free staff from excessive bureaucracy and top-down control”, as promised in the government’s white paper.

NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson, who is also the commissioning board’s chief executive, last year warned it needed to avoid becoming “the greatest quango in the sky”.

A spokeswoman said the board was taking over significant functions and would be responsible for a large budget, expected to be around £80bn.

She told HSJ: “The [board] is taking over the functions and responsibilities of 8,000 people working in 10 strategic health authorities and 151 primary care trusts (which are being abolished at the end of March 2013), as well as some of the DH’s functions. This will lead to a significant reduction in senior management posts and a reduction in running costs of at least one third.”

Although the commissioning board will have four regional sectors and local “branches”, they will have no board directors, unlike SHAs and PCTs.

Posts that are not yet filled will be appointed under the terms of the board’s People Transition Policy. If there is a matching post in the current system, the individual would be transferred. If not there will be competition among at risk staff to fill the post and, ultimately, open competition.


  • Chief executive: Sir David Nicholson remains on his 2010-11 salary, £210-215,000, and he last year gave up a London property allowance. His role as chief executive is a permanent appointment.
  • Medical director: Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS medical director, remains on his 2010-11 salary of £190-195,000. Permanent appointment.
  • Chief nursing officer: Currently being advertised with an indicative base salary of £165,000.
  • Finance director: Paul Taylor is on secondment from NHS West Midlands, which is understood to be a fixed-term appointment, and the board will interview for a substantive appointment in due course. Mr Taylor remains on his current salary of £150-155,000. The indicative base salary for the permanent finance director is £170,000.
  • Chief operating officer: Indicative base salary of £170,000.
  • National director of commissioning development: Indicative base salary of £165,000.
  • National director of improvement and transformation: Indicative base salary of £165,000.
  • National director of patient and public engagement, insight and informatics: Indicative base salary of £165,000.
  • National director of policy, partnerships and corporate development: Indicative base salary of £165,000.
  • Chief of staff: Indicative base salary of £155,000.

For comparison, current NHS deputy chief executive and director general of finance and performance David Flory had a salary of £205-210,000 in 2010-11; chief nursing officer Dame Christine Beasley received £140-145,000 and DH director general of workforce Clare Chapman got £220-225,000. NHS London chief executive Dame Ruth Carnall’s 2010-11 salary was £260-265,000.