AGENDA ITEM NUMBER 10(C) HCC STANDARD(S) TO APPROVE BRADFORD AND AIREDALE TEACHING PRIMARY CARE TRUST MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS ON 22 JANUARY 2008 tPCT BOARD MEETINGS DIRECTOR RESPONSIBLE: John Chuter, Chairman Tel: (01274) 237700 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Issue to be discussed The frequency and format of tPCT Board meetings. Recommendations The Board is recommended to confirm that: (i) Board meetings will continue at their current frequency of one per month. (ii) Beginning in January 2008 every other Board meeting will be held in public unless Board business dictates otherwise. (iii) Board meetings not held in public will concentrate on the central issues for addressing health inequalities across Bradford and Airedale and will invite other contributors to the debate as required. Background (A) Thus far Board meetings have been held one each month. Meetings have taken place in the afternoon in public with a private Board development session in the morning. Such frequency and format has served the Board well bearing in mind the business it has undertaken during the first year and the necessary to bring the Board together and focus its activities. Much of the business has required decisions to be taken that required to be debated in public. These have largely included decisions affecting primary care services and investments initiated and placed in the public domain before the tPCT was formed up. (B) Board development sessions held on the same day as Board meetings have supplemented more formal training for Board members undertaken on an individual basis. The recruitment of Board members, both executive and non-executive, over the first six months and the inexorable pace of reform in the NHS has reinforced the requirement for continuous full Board development. Current situation (C) The initial decision taking load consequent on business left over from the four previous PCTs has abated. The tPCT has since completed the ‘Fitness for Purpose’ (FfP) exercise which has signalled the requirement for a number of areas for improvement and set the direction of travel. The Board has also refined its vision and purpose in line with FfP and emergent departmental policy particularly around the commissioning function. As a direct result the Clinical Executive has been re-formed together with a number of Board statutory and non- statutory committees. These are wholly accountable to the Board and are currently undergoing review. The intention is to progressively delegate more responsibility to them leaving the Board to concentrate more on strategic issues. (D) The combined effect of the changes and intentions outlined above has been to reduce the frequency of Board meetings where decisions directly affecting the public need to be taken. In turn this has reduced the requirement for the number of Board meetings held in public to roughly half. It has also freed up more time for Board development and debate on the central issue, ie how best to deploy resources in order to improve health and well being and reduce health inequalities across Bradford and Airedale. Such debate needs to be uninhibited, free flowing and broad and is therefore initially not suited to the more formal format of a Board meeting in public. However such a broad agenda cannot be successfully tackled without some structure, documentation and, above all, the inclusion of others in the debate. The Local Authority, voluntary organisations, clinicians, public, patients and others will all have a part to play. Therefore it will still be necessary to invite as broad a spectrum of local opinion as required to contribute to tPCT Board meetings particularly those mapping out the long term development of services. The overall frequency of Board meetings should therefore not reduce. Conclusions (E) The above points suggest a rebalancing of Board business but there remains a requirement for a monthly Board meeting and that should not change. However the necessity for Board meetings to be held in public will reduce to about half the present number each year. (F) Those Board meetings not held in public need to concentrate on the central issue articulated in Paragraph (D) above and draw others into the debate as required. These will remain structured, minuted events with an agenda.