NHS boards might like to review their corporate governance arrangements in the light of the freely downloadable article below, which includes 18 recommendations adapted from the ‘Walker Review.’
Given the experience of critical loss and failure throughout the banking system, Sir David Walker was asked by the Prime Minister to review corporate governance in UK banks. His report – ‘The Walker Review’ – was published at the end of November 2009 and can be downloaded here.
In the Press Release associated with his report Sir David said “The fundamental change needed is to make the boardroom a more challenging environment than it has often been in the past……This requires non-executives able to devote sufficient time to the role in order to assess risk and ask tough questions about strategy………We need to get governance back to centre stage…..…Improved governance can play an important complementary role by instilling greater confidence in the way banks are being run by their boards and overseen by their owners. This should help regulators to strike the right balance.”
The Walker Review makes 39 recommendations covering the following five key areas:
1. Board size, composition and qualification
2. Functioning of the board and evaluation of performance
3. The role of institutional shareholders: communication and engagement
4. Governance of risk
The Review proposes that most of the recommendations are enforced through inclusion in the Combined Code on Corporate Governance. This forms the basis of Monitor’s Code of Governance for NHS foundation trusts and, indeed, forms the basis for much of the corporate governance and related guidance issued to the NHS over the past ten years.
Healthcare Governance Review has prepared a short article that looks at key quotations from the review report and suggests what relevant recommendations taken from the report might look like for NHS boards. The recommendations relating to The role of institutional shareholders: communication and engagement and most of the recommendations relating to Remuneration are not relevant to NHS boards and have, therefore, been excluded. Refer to the full Walker Review report for further information on these aspects.
Download the article What the Walker corporate governance recommendations might look like for NHS boards and inspection/regulatory bodies here – Walker Review piece Dec 2009.