One of the factors leading to the Mid-Staffordshire crisis was that the Trust did not have a ‘substantive chair […] for some months.’ PWC who evaluated the governance of the Trust surmised that the chair was ‘not really reflecting seriousness of situation through board’.
Maintaining balance on the board is the responsibility of the chair. They want the right questions to be asked at the right time. In fact, with regard to the crisis, Monitor stated, ‘you expect the chair and the board to have enough information and to be challenging enough to spot that failure and tackle it’.
Clearly, in order to maintain balance, the information available needs to be substantive, relevant, and of a reasonable volume. Board members need to take more than a quick scan through the papers before the meeting.
Public confidence has been shaken. With A&E departments in crisis around the country, and the demand on the NHS increasing, the pressure is on the chair to maintain board morale.
What makes board members feel productive and believe their efforts are worthwhile?
We’d argue that the answer lies in making better use of time. Efficiency improves when information is easily accessible. With BoardPacks, distribution of the meeting files is instantaneous. Past and present meetings are just accessible within seconds, but board meetings are about more than lengthy papers. Governaning isn’t simply a process of read, discuss, vote. The dynamic agenda in BoardPacks incorporates decision tools, risk profiles, and links to external accounts and documents.
With BoardPacks, you know that the information is in the board member’s hands. As chair, you can focus on the relationships and challenges facing your NHS organisation.
The HFMA Annual Chairs Conference next Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to take a look at the BoardPacks software. We’ll be at stand #7 and more than happy to give you a demonstration.
Find out how we’re already helping Luton and Dunstable NHS Foundation Trust.
(Quotes are from the Mid-Staffordshire Public Inquiry Report)