Seven years on

Has the senior independent director role strengthened governance?
The King's Fund, London W1G 0AN
Event type: 

About this event

About this event

The first Monitor Code of Governance included guidance for boards on a senior independent director (SID). This was seven years ago, but what has been the take-up among boards and how effectively does the SID role add value to the overall governance?

This experiential session aims to support those performing the role and to share learning between boards. Facilitated by Katy Steward, who led the consultation on the first Monitor governance code, three SIDs have volunteered to talk about their experience and touch on their role in relation to governors and chief executive appointments, the two areas where SIDs have the greatest potential. The session will also consider

  • Where has the SID role added value to governance?
  • What have SIDs learnt from doing the role and what advice would they give to chairs thinking about a SID on their board?

There will be an opportunity for facilitated discussion and a focus on sharing experiences.


Nicola Bastin

Senior Independent Director of East London NHS Foundation Trust

Nicola was appointed to the East London NHS Foundation Trust Board in October 2006 and to the role of SID in November 2007.

In addition, Nicola is a non-executive director of two housing associations, and she chairs fitness to practice hearings for the Health and Care Professions Council.

She has experience of improving service delivery elsewhere in the public sector, including Her Majesty's Courts Service and Jobcentre Plus, and was formerly the head of HR and then Director for Diversity at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Martin Bostock

Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

Martin has been the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust's Senior Independent Director since 2011. He is chair of the Nelson Bostock Group, a leading PR agency, and is a member of the PR Council - the UK public relations industry's leading think tank.

Martin also chairs a national charity, the Citizenship Foundation, which works to equip and inspire young people to play an active role in democratic society.

He has considerable experience within the communications and marketing sector, which he first entered more than 35 years ago. 

Martin spent a year with Volunteer Service Overseas, teaching English in Thailand, before taking a degree in English and Drama at the University of Hull in 1975.

Guy Spencer

Senior Independent Director and Chairman of the Workforce Committee, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Guy studied civil engineering at Imperial College, London and worked in the 1960s and 1970s on the design and construction of the Lancashire/Yorkshire motorway. He became Environment Director for Dorset County Council in 1996 dealing with all planning, highways, architecture and economic development matters, including 100 county farms.

Following his retirement in 2001, Guy worked as an independent transportation consultant on a range of national and local issues ranging from reviewing performance of the national road network to advice on the democratisation of services for the Northern Ireland government.

Since 1999 Guy has been a governor of Bournemouth and Poole College.

Prior to becoming a senior independent director, he was appointed as a non-executive director of Poole Hospital with the aim of bringing board-level experience to the proposals for a new maternity unit and a new emergency department. Sadly, for all involved, financial constraints prevented progress.

Katy Steward

Assistant Director of Leadership, The King's Fund

Katy joined the Fund in 2006 from Monitor, where she worked on regulatory policy in the area of governance. She has extensive experience of working on culture, leadership, change management and governance in the NHS and more broadly across the private and government sector, and previously worked in business transformation at KPMG. She became the Fund's Assistant Director of Leadership in 2011.

She is also a qualified coach, works with boards and runs a network, the Board Leadership Programme, for NHS chairs and non-executive directors.

She is currently a trustee of Oxfam. Katy has a PhD from Imperial College London on organisational behaviour and learning.