Loughborough University postgraduate programme in healthcare governance – next intake November 2012

February 7, 2011

This well established and popular part-time postgraduate programme in healthcare governance, run by Loughborough University School of Business and economics, will take its next intake in November 2012.

The programme accepts anyone interested in healthcare governance and with suitable qualifications and/or experience to undertake postgraduate level study. It is not always a necessity to have a first degree.

Students can study for a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or Master of Science (MSc) degree in healthcare governance. The full MSc degree takes a minimum of 2 years by part-time study and includes modules on corporate governance in healthcare, clinical governance (including patient safety) and managing healthcare risk, together with a dissertation on any healthcare governance related topic.

For further information, click here.

Stronger and more accountable Foundation Trusts needed to avoid “Staffordshire 2”

March 3, 2010

The MAC Partnership, specialists in public involvement, have produced an excellent blog article on the recently published Francis inquiry report on Mid Staffs foundation trust.

According to MAC “The Francis enquiry report  is not strong enough on improving Foundation Trust governance. It largely ignores the role of the Trust’s owners – the Members of the Foundation Trust and their elected Governors.   A Foundation Trust is after all defined in law as a “public benefit corporation” – a species of social enterprise -  but what that means in practice has been deliberately fudged by Ministers and Monitor since FTs were first created. Now we can see what that sort of “governance neglect” can lead to.”

“Most worrying of all” says MAC “is the question “where was the voice of professional nursing as the patients’ champion?”  The Trust’s diverse nursing team are the most numerous group of employees and always will be. They are  everywhere and they see everything.  Had nurses taken a united stand and made their collective voice heard, the care failings of the Trust would have come to light much earlier. Where were the letters to MPs that the hundreds of nurses working in this hospital should have written?  Where were the local nursing clinical leaders? Where were the nursing trade unions and professional bodies?”

Commenting on the MAC blog article the well known commentator on NHS management issues, Roy Lilley, says “Nothing matters but an answer to the question – where were the nurses? They are front-line hands-on and ubiquitous. They MUST have known what was going on. They could not have been blind to events. Why they did not speak out is the only question – the answer to which will guide us in trying to make sure this ‘plane-crash’ of deaths does not happen again.”

Read the full MAC blog article here.

HSJ calls on Royal Surrey FT board to explain its values following “wholly unacceptable” drug export sales

February 20, 2010

There has been a public outcry over revelations by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) that the Royal Surrey Country Hospital NHS foundation trust profited by selling millions of pounds of drugs on the export market.

The trust says it saw “an opportunity to make a margin” and claimed it was simply being entrepreneurial.” The Department of Health allegedly said the practice was “wholly unacceptable” and warned that such actions could trigger shortages.

The HSJ (Leader column, 18 February 2010) says that “The trust board must explain what it knew and whether it stands by the drug sales.”

Healthcare Governance Review agrees this is certainly an ethical issue of potentially serious governance concern. But did the trust really do anything wrong? Or was it simply taking a prudent opportunity to realise a profit in line with its terms of authorisation? Please submit your comments below.

The Manager’s Code – Putting People First – Consultative Document

February 19, 2010

Healthcare Governance Review readers might like to get engaged in the consultation on the planned new Manager’s Code. The consultation period will continue to the end of April 2010.

The code is being developed by Professor Derek Mowbray under the auspices of the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM).

Readers may be aware of the discussions around manager accreditation and the idea of a ‘Code of Conduct’ arising from these discussions. Professor Mowbray believes there is scope for confusion between those discussions and the IHM initiative and so he has entitled the Code as The Manager’s Code – hoping this will have an independent life of its own.

Please download the consultation paper here.

In addition, download a background paper here. This is a lengthy paper but provides some of the thinking behind the Code, which some may find interesting.

Please send comments to Professor Mowbray at derek.mowbray@mas.org.uk

Healthcare Governance Review is grateful to Andrew Corbett-Nolan, chair of the IHM, for bringing this matter to our attention.

Re-imagining corporate governance

January 31, 2010

In a lecture delivered at Gresham College, London, on 19 January 2010, Professor Kenneth Costa examines the underlying principles of corporate governance and asks “How can governance be designed to minimise abuse without stifling creativity and innovation.”

The lecture is based principally on the well know governance failures in banking, but has some interesting insights that can be applied in other domains, including healthcare.

Read the full transcript of Professor Costa’s lecture, or download an audio file of the lecture, here.

“Assessing board effectiveness should be a required component of the annual work programme for all NHS boards”

October 31, 2009

The Department of Health has published the summary findings of Neil Goodwin’s review of allegations of bullying and harassment of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS trust by the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority (see previous post here).

The review found “no evidence” to support the claims against East Midlands Strategic Health Authority (SHA). However, concerns have been raised about the independence of Neil Goodwin, a former SHA chief executive (click here).

According to Mr Goodwin “Given the increasing pressures on NHS leadership and management that will result from the impact of the economic downturn on public services there is the possibility of firm performance management being interpreted as bullying or harassment.”

Key recommendations made by Mr Goodwin’s relate to improving the performance of board members and boards. In particular, he recommends that “Assessing board effectiveness should be a required component of the annual work programme for all NHS boards and the results included in performance management and regulatory assessments.”

Read the summary findings of Mr Goodwin’s report, along with NHS chief executive David Nicholson’s response here.

Hospital boss wrongly accused of fraud says bungled police investigation has wrecked his life

August 31, 2009

Readers may recall a recent post criticising both the NHS counter fraud service and police following the collapse of a fraud trial involving the former CEO of a private hospital group (click here).

The Telegraph (26 August 2009) picks up the story of how the former hospital CEOs life has been “wrecked” following the “bungled investigation” of a “malicious allegation.”

According to the Telegraph article, the former hospital CEO, “Mr Breeze, 54, found himself under arrest after a member of staff going through a disciplinary procedure accused him and two colleagues of defrauding the NHS out of £2.5 million at the privately-run Cawston Park psychiatric hospital near Norwich by overcharging for services.

Mr Breeze said there was no substance to the allegation but accused Norfolk police of setting out to “establish guilt rather than the truth, to construct a case rather than impartially investigate a suspected crime”.

Concerns have been raised in the past about the methods employed by, and the apparent lack of accountability of the NHS counter fraud services. Given the collapse of the fraud trial involving Mr Breeze, Healthcare Governance Review strongly advocates an independent review of the methods adopted by NHS counter fraud services, together with the conduct of the police involved in the investigation. The review should cover all cases since the establishment of the NHS counter fraud service that have not resulted in conviction and should include cases that have not gone to court.

Read the Telegraph article here.