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.


How hard should (board) governance be?

September 24, 2010

In her latest article, Caroline Oliver, international authority on board governance and Policy Governance expert, asks the question “how hard should governance be?”

“Good governance is hard work” says Caroline, who believes that “We all tend to want to avoid hard work if we can!”

“Good governance” she says “is a matter of providing continuous leadership in terms of strategic, ethical and prudential direction and ensuring rigorous monitoring of same.”

“However,” she argues, “it all starts with the board valuing itself….[the board needs to]Recognise the importance of [its] work as providing the basis for your organisation’s long-term success.  Recognise that to accomplish all that is on [the board’s plate it will] need a sturdy framework designed for the job such as Policy Governance and make sure [the board has] invested sufficiently in support resources to get the job done.”

Read Caroline’s full article here.


Policy Governance in the NHS

September 3, 2009

The Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) has published an article on Policy Governance in the NHS.

Policy Governance is a highly organised approach to board efficiency. Policy Governance starts from directors’ agreement about their board’s purpose and culminates in a set of standing controls that the board constantly uses and improves upon to get its job done. 

Using Policy Governance equips boards to:

– display leadership – from their own agenda, not the executive’s
– think as many; act as one
– secure their organisations within rigorously monitored bounds of safety and ethics
– make purpose number one
– find time and space to focus on the future
– have one concise living document that integrates all they need to say
– empower their executives to be their best
– have brief clear regular information about all they need to control.

Policy Governance is described by Sir Adian Cadbury as the most conceptually coherent model of board governance that currently exists. BPs board governance principles (see www.bp.com) are based on Policy Governance. Several NHS organisations are currently implementing the Policy Governance approach to board governance, including Southend University Hospital NHS foundation trust, Hereford Hospitals NHS trust and Leicestershire Country and Rutland Community Health Services.

Read the article Policy Governance in the NHS click here.

For further information on Policy Governance click here.


Implementing Policy Governance – Board efficiency in practice. Intermediate level seminars in Manchester and London

August 28, 2009

Caroline Oliver is running two 2-day intermediate level Policy Governance seminars in Manchester and London.

The Manchester event is for NHS participants only and will take place on 30 September and 1 Octber at Manchester Business School.

The London event is open to participants from any sector and will take place on 28/29 October at Birkbeck, University of London.

Each event costs £250 plus VAT per delegate and includes a working lunch on both days.

For a detailed course outline and to reserve a place, visit Caroline’s website here.


NHS Governance 2009 conference a success

June 29, 2009

The Health Service Journal’s (HSJ) annual NHS governance conference held over 3-days at Earls Court in London this week attracted over 300 delegates across the different days, with some attending two or all three days.

The conference was a great success with a host of excellent speakers plus good audience participation during panel sessions, etc.

The general state of chaos and confusion around governance and management was a key issue to come out of the event. The speaker from the new Care Quality Commission added to the confusion by saying that “governance relates to consistent management, cohesive policies, processes and decision rights for a given area of responsibility.” This is a new definition that does not align with the myriad definitions already in place in various NHS guidance documents, and does not conform to key thinking about governance. Interestingly, another speaker coined a ‘new’ governance term at the event. Professor Paul Stanton spoke about “intelligent governance.” Healthcare Governance Review looks forward to the day that the subject of governance in the NHS will be addressed ‘intelligently’ by the Department of Health and associated agencies and bodies, including the new Care Quality Commission!

The presentations from the event should be posted on the web for free download by 3 July. When available, download the presentations by clicking here.


Ownership and boards – a short article

April 19, 2009

Internationally renowned  board and Policy Governance specialist Caroline Oliver believes boards are very special in that they have a specific purpose, which is to serve those who put them there – i.e. the organisation’s ‘owners’.

She has written an article titled ‘Ownership and boards’ in which she clearly and succinctly sets out why ‘ownership’ matters; provides assistance to boards to help them identify their owners;  differentiates between owners and other stakeholders; and provides insights into ‘making ownership count.’

According to Oliver, “……ownership is where board leadership starts and where it must come back to in terms of accountability. With a clear common definition of ownership your board will be able to lead together and with confidence. And, with your whole organisation’s future at stake – the work involved in identifying your ownership has to be worth it.”

Read the full article Ownership and boards here.


Looking at the problems at Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust through a Policy Governance lens

March 23, 2009

Caroline Oliver, a World authority on building high performing boards using the Carver Policy Governance model, has responded to the situation at Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust (see below) with a short article titled ‘Danger – Targets at Work’.

According to Caroline, the main problem in the NHS currently is that  “assurance systems are often assuring the wrong things, by which I mean that they are assuring compliance with matters of means rather than ends.”  

Healthcare Governance Review believes that had the Mid Staffordshire board been focused on ends (i.e. organisational purpose) rather than fixated on various means issues, the outcome for many patients who allegedly died unnecessarily might have been very different.

Caroline states that “the work of boards in healthcare really matters.” Further, she believes that “the immediate hope for progress in terms of distinguishing ends from means lies with NHS boards who are the only people at local level who have the authority to require an ends focus and to hold themselves and their organisations accountable for the fulfillment of same. When boards define ends they are defining their organisation’s real bottom line – the criteria against which everything they do should ultimately be judged. When boards define ends they are providing meaningful leadership. Yes they need to ensure that everything about the organisation is legal, prudent and ethical, but without ever losing sight of the organisation’s purpose.”

You can read Caroline’s full article, Danger – Targets at Work, on her website here.