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Gloucestershire hospitals governors debate on code of conduct

By Michael_Yong  |  Posted: February 18, 2014

By Michael Yong

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Governors of Gloucestershire hospitals will soon be subject to a code of conduct.

The Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is reviewing its code of conduct for governors following a regulatory change.

A working group had come up with a new code, and it was decided on Monday night governors will have until next Friday to submit their concerns.

Spanning more than three pages, governors expressed fears the code was too long or too restrictive.

One of the items debated was for governors not to become involved in matters that are the remit or responsibility of other NHS bodies and partners.

Ann Lewis, representing the public in Tewkesbury, said it would be difficult “not to be involved” in discussions about partner organisations as the trust and its partners are closely linked.

Chairman Professor Clair Chilvers said: “We need to make the point clearer.

“From time to time we’ve spent a lot of time talking about things which have not had anything to do with the trust.

“One example would be the ambulance service. There would be no point in debating that. We need to concentrate on our trust.”

Julius Marstrand, representing the Cheltenham public, said: “Since we started the debate, we’ve had reference to three issues where our partners impact the trust.

“It is almost impossible to separate them from our discussions as governors.

“There is a direct relationship and a balance will need to be found.”

He added this might prevent governors from speaking about other issues, even though they might affect the trust and Gloucestershire residents.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 meant a range of new duties have now been placed on governors.

Monitor, the regulatory body for hospitals, updated its code of governance for NHS foundation trusts last month.

A spokesman for the trust said: “Governors play an important role in enabling Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to fulfil its function as a locally accountable organisation and we want to strengthen that role.

“The refreshed code adheres to the Nolan principles which are acknowledged as the seven founding principles of public life.”

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  • A1HPod  |  February 22 2014, 3:31PM

    "governors not to become involved in matters that are the remit or responsibility of other NHS bodies and partners." But if they affect us..........the service users??!! "One example would be the ambulance service. There would be no point in debating that. We need to concentrate on our trust." Complete rubbish - this is nothing short of silencing good governors doing exactly what they should be doing. If trusts are involved in shared care, eg ambulances coming on the hospitals' site or a consultant working with staff from another trust in the interest of good patient care this is absolutely the business of the governors. What do the bosses have to hide? Are they scared to challenge poor care?

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