Role of Boards
Three main roles of Boards of governance are:
- formulating strategy;
- ensuring accountability (including financial stewardship); and,
- shaping a healthy culture for the Board and the organisation
adapted from On Board: a guide for board members of public bodies in Scotland, 2015, Scottish Government
2. The overall purpose of the Boards of Health Bodies is to govern effectively and in doing so build patient, public and stakeholder confidence that their health and healthcare is in safe hands. All Boards are responsible for ensuring that the organisation delivers its functions in accordance with Scottish Ministers’ policies and priorities.
3. The key functions of the Board include:
- strategic leadership, vision and direction setting;
- ensuring that the organisation is focused on agreed outcomes which reflects and responds to the needs of the Scottish population;
- securing assurance on the organisation’s performance, delivery and deployment of resources;
- fostering robust, rigorous and effective governance and accountability;
- ensuring that the organisation’s business is conducted to high standards of propriety and regularity; and
- ensuring that an appropriate level of risk management and scrutiny are in place.
Composition of Boards
4. Boards are composed of a combination of executive and non-executive members, all of which are appointed by the Scottish Ministers.
5. The Executive Team is usually made up of 5 core members: the Chief Executive, Director of Finance, Medical Director, Nurse Director and Director of Public Health. There are some differences on Special Health Boards and only the Chief Executive is a member of the Board of Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
6. Non-executive members includes both lay and stakeholder members. Lay members are appointed through a process which is regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland. Stakeholder members are nominated for appointment and include, for example, Local Authority Councillors, Chair of Area Clinical Forum and Chair of Area Partnership Forum.
7. The Chair works with the Board to ensure the overall vision and leadership of the organisation are in place, and promotes effective decision-making and constructive debate. The Executive Team, led by the NHS Board Chief Executive, remain responsible for the day to day running of the organisation and the delivery of the strategic direction set by the Board. Non-executive members hold the executive to account for the delivery of strategy, ensure value for money and that risks are managed and mitigated effectively. All members have a collective responsibility for the performance of the organisation.
8. The Board is held to account through the Chair of the Board, by Scottish Ministers’ for the overall performance of the organisation.