Salzburg Global Seminar Session Participant Profiles
Sun 07 Nov - Fri 12 Nov, 2010

Stephen Thornton Stephen Thornton (Resource Specialist)

Country/Region: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


Chief Executive, The Health Foundation

Stephen Thornton is chief executive of the Health Foundation, an independent charity working to continuously improve the quality of healthcare in the UK. Working with others, it is helping to shape a future healthcare system that offers safe, effective, and responsive care for all. It is a charitable foundation and operates independently from government, political parties, or other interest groups. The Foundation's endowment enables it to spend approximately £25 million annually. It seeks out the best people in health care and supports them to learn and share with others. Through projects, research, and evaluation studies, The Foundation tests and measures new ways of improving health services for the future. It actively influences health care decision makers to achieve sustainable and widespread improvements in the quality of patient care.

Stephen Thornton has 30 years' management experience in the National Health Service, having worked at hospital, community health, health authority, regional and national levels of the service. He spent five years as Chief Executive of Cambridge & Huntingdon Health Authority and five years as Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, the membership body for NHS organisations, negotiating directly with ministers on issues concerning the management of the health service.

He has been a Non-Executive Director of Monitor (the independent regulator of NHS Foundation trusts) since October 2006 and was appointed Acting Deputy Chair in February 2010. He was a member of the NHS Modernisation Board 2001/02 and a Commissioner on the Board of The Healthcare Commission 2003/06. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and was appointed a CBE in the 2001 New Year's Honours List. He was appointed to the National Quality Board as an expert member in March 2009.