Lack of transparency in Foundation Trusts
Surrey's Health Scrutiny Committee has raised concerns about the transparency of Foundation Trusts who hold board of director's meetings in private.
A poll carried out by the Health Service Journal highlights that ‘less than a quarter of foundation trusts are holding their board of directors' meetings in public'. Just seven of 30 foundation trusts questioned allowed the public to attend even a part of their directors' meetings.
Foundation trusts were set up to enable greater accountability to local people. Those foundation trusts that do hold board meetings in private are still bound by the Freedom of Information Act so the public still has access to minutes of meetings. The Code of Governance for foundation trusts states "The board of directors should operate a code of conduct that builds on the values of the NHS foundation trust and reflect high standards of probity and responsibility. The board of directors should follow a policy of openness and transparency in its proceedings and decision making unless this conflicts with a need to protect the wider interests of the public or the NHS foundation trust (including commercial-in-confidence matters) and make clear how potential conflicts of interests are dealt with".
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and Medway NHS Foundation Trust both hold their board of director's meeting in private in line with their constitutions.
What do you think about NHS Foundation Trusts holding their board of directors meeting in private?
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