The Role of the Medical Director in the NHS

18th January 2017

screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-12-54-14GGI has published the second of it’s ‘GGI board insights paper’ with The role of the Medical Director in the NHS. This report is part of a growing series of reports developed by the Good Governance Institute (GGI) that consider issues contributing to the better governance of healthcare organisations. This paper explores the role of the Medical Director in acute trusts in the NHS, and is part of an insight series produced by GGI on the key board roles within the NHS.

With the increasing significance that has been attributed to clinical leadership over recent years, the role of the Medical Director is widely seen as more important than ever.


Despite this, there appears to be a lack of clarity about the role, and also significant barriers to its uptake, most pertinently the issue of career progression and succession planning.

Therefore, this paper will examine the following aspects of the role:

  • Background to the role: definition, importance, perception and the route to becoming a medical director
  • Responsibilities to the Medical Director
  • What makes an effective medical director
  • Accountabilities and reporting lines and the wider team
  • Training for the role and career progression
  • Barriers and challenges

The findings will inform GGI’s work in this area and will be further developed in GGI’s forthcoming publications.

You can download The role of the Medical Director in the NHS here.