Monitor updates Code of Governance for NHS foundation trusts

Monitor, regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has updated its Code of Governance for foundation trusts in light of “recent developments in governance practices specific to NHS foundation trusts.”

The purpose of the code, according to Monitor, “is to assist NHS foundation trust boards in improving their governance practices by bringing together the best practice of public and private sector corporate governance. The code sets out a common overarching framework for the corporate governance of NHS foundation trusts and complements the statutory and regulatory obligations on them.”

Monitor has, helpfully, provided a brief summary of the main changes and this can be downloaded, along with the code itself, here.

The principal changes relating to the board of directors are:

– Additional supporting principle added regarding the requirement to ensure the trust exercises its functions effectively, efficiently and economically; and

– Additional wording to reflect additional focus on board skills, the importance of appropriate external assurance, and the design and measurement of relevant indicators.

There are other changes relating to Governors; Appointment, resignation and term of office; Information, development and evaluation; and Accountability and audit.

Monitor stresses that the “code is best practice advice. It is not mandatory guidance and accordingly, non-compliance with the provisions of the code will not in itself give rise to a breach of the terms of authorisation. NHS foundation trusts are, however, strongly encouraged to take full account of the best practice provisions described in [the] code.”

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