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NHS Foundation Trusts: Governing Bodies

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department plans to extend membership of NHS foundation hospital trusts' boards to members of the public; and whether a timescale has been produced for this policy. (244177)

The constitution of both the board of governors and board of directors of a NHS Foundation Trust is set out in National Health Service Act 2006 schedule 7 sub 7, and sub 15 respectively.

Requirements for the board of governors include that more than half must be elected by the members, and at least three members must be elected by the staff constituency. One member must be appointed by a primary care trust for which the FT provides services, and at least one member of the board must be appointed by a local authority. If any of the FT’s hospitals includes a medical or dental scheme provided by a university, at least one of the board of governors must be appointed by that university. An organisation specified in the constitution as a partnership organisation may appoint a member of the board of governors also.

There are no plans to extend the membership of boards and therefore no timescale.