In the new NHS, ‘strong governance and clear lines of assurance will be key to safeguarding public money’

May 5, 2011

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published its ‘National Health Service Landscape Review’ – click here.

A helpful summary of the PAC report has been written by Dr Allan Tennant on the website of the Dispensing Doctors’ Association. In his summary, Dr Tennant states that “Establishing strong, effective systems of governance and clear lines of assurance and accountability supported by robust flows of information will be key to ensuring that public money is safeguarded.” He also states that “High quality risk management will be crucial if the change programme is to be delivered to time and budget and to realise its intended benefits, especially during the transition stage.”

Healthcare Governance Review has no doubt that good governance and risk management continue to be essential pre-requisites for building and maintaining successful NHS (and wider public sector) organisations.

Read Dr Tennant’s summary of the PAC report here.


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.


NHS Governance 2010 – HSJ 2-day event, London, 16/17 June

April 11, 2010

Looking to the year ahead and beyond, there can be no denying the immense and unprecedented challenges facing the NHS.

The likely change of government, delivering world class healthcare with decreased budgets and the commissioner provider split are all certain to test even the most robust NHS governance systems and present a step-change in the demands placed on those working in the governance arena.

Health Service Journal is presenting NHS Governance 2010. This not-to-be-missed event comprises of two important one day conferences and brings together national authorities on NHS governance and leads from across the country. 

Day 1 explores ‘Governance for PCTs and Provider Services: Managing the Transition – Developing robust governance systems and protocols to support the future model of community service provision.’

Day 2 is concerned with ‘NHS Board Development – Ensuring the necessary board level skills to lead the NHS in times of financial and political uncertainty.’

For further information, including programme and speakers for each of the 2 days, click here.


Review of early warning systems in the NHS places key requirements on boards

March 12, 2010

The National Quality Board (NQB) has published a review of early warning systems for acute and community services in the NHS in England. The review followed a request by the previous Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson, to take forward a review of the systems and processes in place in the NHS for safeguarding quality and preventing serious failures. This followed events at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, where independent reports have shown that a comprehensive failure of leadership to improve quality, and a breakdown in systems designed to detect and respond to the signs of serious failings, compromised all three dimensions of quality.

The report has a special mention boards of NHS provider organisations, who are ultimately responsible for the provision of high quality care in their organisation. It states that “In safeguarding quality and safety, boards should be:
• ensuring that the essential levels of quality and safety are met through having appropriate systems and processes for monitoring quality in place; and
• driving continuous quality improvement across the full range of services through systematic measurement of quality.”

The report further states that “Boards should also:
• foster a culture of openness and transparency around quality and incentivise quality improvement in every service line;
• engage in continuous dialogue with patients and the public including reporting publicly on quality of care through Quality Accounts;
• ensure mandatory reporting of serious incidents to the NPSA from 2010; and
• ensure that effective revalidation systems are in place within trusts for doctors from April 2010 through ‘responsible officers’.”

For further information, download the NQB review report Review of early warning systems in the NHS – Acute and community services here.


NHS Alliance national online debate about NHS accountability ends in December 2009 – Make sure you have your say

November 27, 2009

The NHS Alliance online debate about NHS accountability, which is being conducted in association with Healthcare Governance Review, ends in December. A report will be prepared by the NHS Alliance based on the findings.

If you’ve not already participated then you have only a few weeks to register your views on this highly important subject.

Click here to register your views.

The NHS Alliance Press Release on the debate can be found here.


Governing the NHS 2010 and beyond – consultants appointed to write the new guidance

October 18, 2009

Readers may recall that the 2003 Department of Health guidance Governing the NHS: Guidance for boards is being ‘refreshed’ (see the following post).

According to Elisabeth Buggins, Chair of NHS West Midlands and the Board Development lead for the National Leadership Council “The National Leadership Council has recognised the critical role boards play in addressing the challenges of the modern NHS and I want to make sure that the whole board will benefit from up to-date guidance on governance issues.”

Working with the Appointments Commission and other partners including Monitor, the NHS Confederation and the NHS Institute, Elisabeth has established a vision that the new guidance will be ‘compelling not compulsory’.

Foresight Partnership in association with the King’s Patient Safety and Service Quality Research Centre have been appointed to develop the new guidance. According to Adrienne Fresko of Foresight Partnership “We will be looking at the extensive literature on governance to underpin the guidance but we are also keen to make sure that we are responding to the issues that Boards sometimes find difficult.”

Adrienne and her colleagues are working to a tight deadline as the new guidance will be launched at the Chairs Conference organised by the Appointments Commission on 23 February in Central London.

According to Elizabeth Buggins “We hope that the final document will assist boards in reaching the highest standards of governance, which we know is so important in achieving world class commissioning and excellent service delivery.”

Healthcare Governance Review endorses Elizabeth’s hopes and looks forward to reviewing the new guidance when it is published early in 2010.

Further information can be found in the autumn 2009 edition of Bulletin – News from the Appointments Commission, downloadable 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.