§ Mr. Geraint Davies
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the appointments to the posts of chairman of the eight NHS regions once the terms of office of the incumbent comes to an end. 
§ Mr. Dobson
The terms of office of the chairmen of the eight National Health Service regions end on 1 November 1999. Professor Alasdair Breckenridge has already agreed to stand down to concentrate on his role as chairman of the Committee on the Safety of Medicines. Philip Hammersley, chairman of Trent Region has indicated that he does not wish to be considered for re-appointment.
Of the remaining chairmen, I have re-appointed the following for a further three-year term:
- Ian Mills: London Region
- Janet Trotter: South West Region
- Sir William Wells: South East Region.
The following have been re-appointed for a four-year term:
- Zahida Manzoor: Northern and Yorkshire Region
- Rosie Varley: Eastern Region
- Clive Wilkinson: West Midlands Region.
The rigorous, open and transparent appointment procedures set down by the Commissioner for Public Appointments are followed for these posts, although they do not fall within the Commissioner's remit. Advertisements will therefore be placed in the national press shortly to recruit new chairmen for the North West and Trent Regions.