Moosa Patel on strong NHS boards

Moosa Patel, Director of Corporate Affairs at NHS Leicestershire County and Rutland, has wrriten an interesting article on NHS board governance in the Health Service Journal (HSJ – 27 August 2009).

According to Patel, “Woeful shortcomings in the boardroom was one of the reasons for the global recession – but there is no excuse for NHS boards to make the same mistakes.”

He asserts that “In many primary care trusts, boards of 20 plus meet monthly to try to make sense of a challenging and changing agenda, supported by an unwieldy committee structure and accompanied by poor quality paperwork…….[and] the governance failings at Mid Staffordshire, while not as headline grabbing as the issues around the way in which emergency patients were admitted and treated, show very clearly that the board failed to understand the basic precepts of good corporate governance. If it had, then surely it would not have channelled the majority of board business through the private board, board reports would not have been written so badly that they masked the real issues, board actions would have been followed up, board minutes would have demonstrated discussion, debate or challenge and board directors would have been asking questions, and the right ones.”

“Beyond the NHS”, says Patel, “guidance proliferates in the commercial sector and from elsewhere in the world. This should be scrutinised by NHS organisations and best practice effectively adopted.”

According to Patel, “NHS boards now need to rise to the challenge of delivering good governance and ensure that they learn the lessons of recent corporate failings and put their house in order.”

Read Moosa Patel’s full HSJ article here.

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