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The governance challenge for the NHS executive director

The increasingly complex structure of organisations within the NHS requires those
employees who are empowered with the role, responsibility and often title of ‘executive’ and/
or ‘director’ to be clear about their specific ‘director’ responsibilities and the consequent
stakeholder expectations.

This guidance note seeks to focus attention on the governance role and expectations of the ‘executive director’.

The challenges for the executive director broadly encompass the following:

  • Leadership and management of their particular section or department.
  • Being a member of the senior operational management of the organisation.
  • Wider leadership and management responsibility within the operational environment.
  • Ensuring the organisation remains focused on delivering its core business objectives.
  • Governance and strategic responsibility from the board perspective.

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