Watch: Mandela’s ‘Favourite Judge’ Mervyn King supports NHS leaders in London with development of integrated reporting

Just days after the sad demise of Nelson Mandela, we were privileged to film Professor Judge Mervyn King speak at LLfHP’s annual Board Development Day to NHS board members and aspiring leaders.

Mervyn was speaking along with Elisabeth Buggins, Chair of Birmingham's Women's Hospital, to NHS leaders about their experiences of governance in the NHS and beyond. In his capacity as Chair of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), Mervyn discussed how to embed integrated reporting into mainstream business practice within the NHS.


The NHS in London is a participant in the IIRC pilot programme, which has been developing the use of integrated reporting so organisations can develop holistic reporting frameworks that will allow them to demonstrate the social value they provide.  In the coming year, we will be sharing more information about our participation in the pilot programme, but research to date has shown that benefits of integrated reporting include:

  • Connecting departments across an organisation, breaking down silos
  • Improved internal processes leading to a better understanding of the business
  • Increased focus and awareness of senior management
  • Better articulation of an organisation’s strategy and business model
  • Creating value for stakeholders

Mervyn  is an authority on corporate governance – after the end of apartheid in South Africa, he was tasked by Nelson Mandela with exploring how organisations could better meet the needs, interests and expectations of all stakeholders, not just the minority and not just shareholders. The result was the ‘King Reports’ on corporate governance, which not only introduced corporate guidelines for an emerging democracy but set the bar for corporate governance internationally.

During the Board Development Day, which reflected on the lessons to be learned from mid-Staffs and the need to focus on performance and not just conformance, Mervyn shared his wisdom and experience and before leaving London he wrote to offer his support:

“…I and others hope to influence the powers that be of the urgent need to move away from a compliance environment reinforced by fear. It should be an environment of enterprise reinforced by trust. The latter is motivating and fulfilling for persons and lets them know that they are making a positive contribution to the entity’s success and consequentially to society… The only solution at present is to bite the bullet, appreciating that you can delegate but you cannot abdicate responsibility and appoint committees to do the conformance required by the regulator leaving the leaders to focus on their ultimate responsibility, which is performance”.

Videos of Mervyn’s and Elisabeth’s presentations, along with a short interview with Mervyn about his thoughts on the challenges facing the NHS, can be found on our YouTube Channel.