Skip to main content

Patient Groups

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 6 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice her Department has given to foundation trusts on the involvement of patient groups in trust board meetings; what representations she has had from patient groups on exclusion from trust board meetings; and if she will make a statement. (140349)

The Department has issued guidance on developing and implementing governance arrangements in national health service foundation trusts which is available at:

The legislative framework for foundation trusts gives them significant scope to tailor their governance arrangements to reflect their different status, the services they provide and the profile of their communities.

While some representations have been made by organisations, including those representing patient groups, on the operation of board of director meetings in foundation trusts, the National Health Service Act 2006 only allows for foundation trusts to open meetings of the board of governors to the public. There is no equivalent provision for meetings of the board of directors. This would be a matter for each trust. Monitor (the statutory name of which is the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts) has however issued a code of governance for foundation trusts which advises directors to 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 foundation trusts, including commercial-in-confidence matters.