It was great to see John Bruce and John Gilham, the Chairman and Chief Executive respectively of Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust demonstrating how Policy Governance® (PG) worked for them as they set out the case history of their experience in launching and managing the UK’s most comprehensive PG-based governance initiative. Their Hospital Board is implementing Policy Governance in full and their experiences along the way inspired delegate after delegate who said the speakers had brought Policy Governance to life and shown its relevance and application in a modern NHS.
Their presentation was made at a workshop at Birkbeck College London University on 22nd October 2008 when over 30 people came together to hear more about Policy Governance®, the model developed by John and Miriam Carver. Since attending the Policy Governance Academy when it was held in the UK some three years ago, I have been a little frustrated by the lack of examples of UK-based work to put alongside the many implementation case histories from Canada and the States – a need now met with the Southend work.
Those who came to listen and learn were from many different parts of the NHS: Hospital Boards, PCTs, GP surgeries, specialist Councils for health care professionals, health regulators and health charities. The delegates also heard from Caroline Oliver Chairman of the UK Policy Governance Board (UKPGA) and a consultant and writer of three books on Policy Governance, Stuart Emslie CEO of the UKPGA and Ray Tooley inventor of OurBoardroom an internet-based tool for implementing Policy Governance.
Hearing first hand about the challenges and the benefits of becoming a Policy Governance Board was fascinating for me as a former non-executive director in a NHS Trust. The UKPGA and the London Centre for Corporate Governance and Ethics at Birkbeck College plan further workshops and the members of UKPGA who are consultants are ready and willing to help individual Trusts or other health organisations test out if Policy Governance could bring them the focus and strategic perspective they so badly need.
At a time when the word governance is bandied about with innumerable definitions and applications, the workshop was reminded why John Carver’s seminal book Boards that Make a Difference has sold over 1 million copies world wide and why his Policy Governance model is described by Sir Adrian Cadbury ‘father’ of modern day corporate governance, as “….a fully integrated and coherent system of governance, a significant advance in management thinking, as near a universal theory of governance as we at present have.”
For more information on Policy Governance® can help your organisation, please contact me Valerie Moore at M-A-C or you can reach Stuart Emslie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07932 376562.
John Bruce, Chairman and John Gilham, Chief Executive of Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust can be contacted at email@example.com. They prefer emails to phone calls.