NHS trust board membership


Last updated 8 August 2023 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

New data for 2022 is available if you download the data. The charts, tables and commentary on this page cover as at 31 March 2019 and do not include the new data.

As at 31 March 2019,:

  • 86.6% of the board members in NHS trusts were White (including White ethnic minorities) and 8.4% were from the Other ethnic group (all other ethnic groups combined); ethnicity wasn’t known for 5.0%

  • NHS trusts in London had the highest percentage of board members from the Other ethnic group (17.1%), while trusts in the South West of England had the smallest percentage (3.0%)

  • more than half (67.8%) of NHS trusts had at least one board member from the Other ethnic group, and 73 out of 227 trust boards (32.2%) had none

  • 30 NHS trusts (13.1%) had 3 or more board members from the Other ethnic group.

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

This data measures the number and percentage of NHS trust board members in 2 broad ethnic groupings.

Not included in the data

For 19 trusts, 20% or more of their board members did not declare their ethnicity. For this reason, the data for each board includes the percentage of members for whom ethnicity was not known. Ethnicity wasn’t known for 5.0% of board members overall.

This data is based on the figures submitted to NHS England as at 31 March 2019. It does not incorporate any updates trusts may have made and published themselves.

The ethnic groups used in the data

For this data, ethnicity was categorised into 2 broad ethnic groups to be consistent with the rest of the 2019 NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard report, and to increase the reliability of the data. This classification was also used for all previous WRES reports, so using the same classification allows for comparisons with previous years.

The 2 broad ethnic groups are:

  • White – including White British and White ethnic minorities

  • Other – all other ethnic groups


Percentages are calculated by dividing the number of board members from each broad ethnic group by the total number of board members, including those for whom ethnicity wasn’t known. Ethnicity wasn’t known for 5.0% of board members overall.

This data includes all board members, including ‘non-executive members’ who are not part of the trust’s management team, and members with no voting rights.

Data was collected in each NHS trust. Some trusts recorded board membership in the NHS’s main HR and payroll system and others used internal databases. All trusts had to enter their data into the Strategic Data Collection System online collection system, which allows trusts to share their data with NHS England.

The data comes from all 227 NHS trusts. You can read the technical guidance for the data on this page

In the data file

You can download the data to see the number and percentage of NHS trust board members by ethnicity and trust for 2021/22

3. By ethnicity and area

Percentage of NHS trust board members from the 2 broad ethnic groups and unknown, by area
Geography White Other than White Unknown
% % %
All 86.6 8.4 5.0
East of England 91.2 5.5 3.3
London 80.3 17.1 2.6
Midlands 86.5 9.5 4.1
North East and Yorkshire 87.7 5.8 6.5
North West 90.0 6.2 3.7
South East of England 81.4 8.3 10.3
South West of England 92.1 3.0 4.9

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV)

4. Data sources


Type of data

Administrative and survey data

Type of statistic

Official statistics


NHS England

Publication frequency


Purpose of data source

The NHS collects ethnicity data to improve workforce race equality.

5. Download the data

NHS Trusts Board Membership 2022 - Spreadsheet (csv) 279 KB

This file contains the following: Measure, Time, NHS_trust_board, NHS_trust_code, NHS_trust_type, Grouped_region, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Value, Value_type.