ACCA calls for enhanced training for board members of NHS organisations

The induction and ongoing training available to those responsible for governance in NHS bodies should be evaluated and enhanced to ensure that it meets members’ needs more effectively, says ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) in its report, understanding governance in the NHS, which was recently launched in Westminster.

The report is based on second year results from a three year research project undertaken in collaboration with the Department of Health. Dean Westcott, ACCA vice-president and chief financial officer of West Essex Primary Care Trust, said of the report: “Its findings acknowledge that non executive directors, while widely regarded as valuable in fostering effective corporate governance practice, have insufficient time to fulfil their role properly and are concerned about effectiveness of available induction and training programmes.”

Julia Rudrum FCCA, author of the report and past chair of ACCA’s health panel, said: “The survey of chairs, chief executives and directors of finance of all NHS organisations confirmed that board members were taking their responsibilities seriously and recognising the need for good governance. But while broadly supporting the guidance issued to date from the Department of Health to provide a framework for developing good governance, the report highlights that knowledge gaps remain and a certain level of confusion exists regarding just what good governance is.”

 Julia Rudrum concludes: “ACCA believes that a clear, principles based corporate governance guide that is useful to all users, but that recognises organisational variations, should be produced to enhance and consolidate existing publications. We also recommend that induction and ongoing training for board members is evaluated to ensure that it is co-ordinated and effective, but that it is also enhanced to meet members’ needs more successfully.”

The report Understanding governance in the NHS – Year 2 can be downloaded here.

Click here for information on the original ACCA Year 1 report.

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