Disabled NHS Directors Network

Established October 2020


The Disabled NHS Directors Network (DNDN) is the national network representing NHS leaders with disabilities.  Formed in autumn 2020, it is open to all disabled Board or equivalent members (non-executive or executive) of NHS organisations and other providers of NHS services (including Community Interest Companies). This includes non-executive or executive members of Integrated Care Boards, NHS members of Place Partnership Boards (or equivalent) and NHS or DHSC Arm’s Length Bodies.

The Network was created to strengthen the collective impact and voice of disabled leaders and, through them, of disabled staff within the NHS and to provide a peer support network for disabled NHS directors.

Our current membership includes colleagues with a wide range of disabilities and impairments, including autism, hearing impairments, long term conditions, mental ill health, mobility impairments and visual impairments.  Our membership includes a good range of gender, ethnicity, and geographical coverage across England.

As the elected Co-Chairs of the DNDN, we welcome you to this website – and if you are a disabled Board member in the NHS, please come and join us!

You can always reach us on Twitter @NHS_DNDN.

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Kate Smyth

Kate Smyth

Non-Executive Director, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Peter Reading

Chief Executive, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust

Peter Reading

News and events

Encouraging CQC to recognise contribution of disabled staff to delivery of patient care

Continuing its work reaching out to movers and shakers in the NHS, the DNDN invited Ian Trenholm, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission to a Network meeting.

DNDN co-founder celebrates London Calibre Leadership programme

DNDN was thrilled to be invited to help celebrate the London NHS Calibre Leadership programme by providing a disabled NHS leader to present graduation certificates to recent participants in the course delivered to NHS staff.

Lord Holmes’s contribution to creation of DNDN recognised

Former Paralympian Chris Holmes, elevated to the House of Lords in 2013, provided an important spur to the creation of the DNDN when he undertook a review in 2018 of the involvement of disabled people in public sector governance. 

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