As a Foundation Trust, the James Paget University Hospitals is run by a Board of Directors. It is governed by the Trust’s Provider Licence and Corporate Governance Framework. This includes the Trust Constitution, standing orders and standing financial instructions. The Scheme of Delegation sets out the delegated responsibility for the performance of the Board’s functions. Ultimately the Chief Executive is accountable to the Board, as the Accounting Officer, for ensuring that the Trust meets its obligations within the available financial resources.
The Board provides leadership and sets the tone for the organisation. As a unitary board, the Non Executive Directors share responsibility with the Executive Directors for ensuring the resources are in place to meet the objectives set. In an emergency powers are exercised by the Chief Executive and Chair after having consulted at least two Non Executive Directors.
The Chair leads both the Board and the Council of Governors, ensuring that there are effective processes in place for the Board and Governors to work together. The process for dealing with any disagreements is set out within the Trust’s Constitution.
The Board reviews its structure and Terms of Reference at least annually. An external Well-led external governance review was undertaken during 2016, led by Capsticks, as required by our regulator. The Board considered this positive report in detail, with a number of elements where we wanted to make improvements. An action plan was agreed, reporting to the Board on a six monthly basis. All actions were completed by March 2018. During 2019/20 we will agree the focus of the next review to ensure value for money and to meet regulatory requirements for an external review every three-five years.
Individual Board members visit areas of the Trust as and when required, particularly the Chair and Executive Directors.
Board to Ward visits take place prior to each Board meeting held in public, across the Trust in both clinical and non clinical areas. The Board also receives patient stories at each of its meetings.
From April 2018 the processes to engage with staff and patients were enhanced. The report containing the detail can be found here, together with the first six monthly update on all the visits undertaken here and the latest report considered in May 2019 here. This has proved to be extremely worthwhile for Board members - and the feedback from staff has been really positive. Having more time to devote to visits when there isn't a meeting in public, enabling 1-1 work shadowing, and giving teams the opportunity to challenge Board members has been of real benefit.