Budget: pounds 180m
What does it do? Purchases health care on behalf of the 400,000 people in the area.
Who runs it? Bryan Stoten, a management consultant, is chairman, 'one of the few Labour-supporting health- authority chairmen in the Midlands,' said a spokesman. Non-executive directors include Les Lawrence, a Tory councillor, and Edwina Simpson, a former Tory councillor.
Who appoints them? The Secretary of State for Health, either directly or indirectly.
Scandal one: National Audit Office queried its accounts because the authority had an accumulated deficit of pounds 25m.
Scandal two: Four patients underwent unnecessary chemotherapy and surgery after being wrongly diagnosed. Compensation could run into millions of pounds.
Scandal three: Dr Brian Boughton, a consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, allegedly tried to stop the authority from closing a ward in nearby Selly Oak Hospital by filling his beds with patients from his waiting lists rather than from Selly Oak. Local MPs applauded him. The authority suspended him.
Accountability: No direct elections. Limited access to meetings and documents.
Write with details of quangos you feel may warrant scrutiny to Quangowatch, Independent on Sunday, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DBReuse content