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News archive - January 2013

FT open board meetings key to transparency

FT open board meetings key to transparency

MORE THAN 20% of foundation trusts (FTs) in the UK may be at risk of missing the deadline for holding open board meetings. That’s according to the Foundation Trust Governors’ Association’s (FTGA) open board meeting survey, which has been conducted to gauge whether FTs are acting in the spirit of the new Health and Social Care Act (2012).

Following extensive lobbying by the FTGA, open board meetings become mandatory on 1 April 2013 when the bulk of the Act comes into force. Trusts that are not already prepared for the change may end up contravening the legislation. THE FTGA has particular concerns over the two FTs who had not even discussed holding open board meetings, according to their governors and trust secretaries.

In total, 77% of FTs in the UK are now currently holding open board meetings - yet just three years ago around the same number (79%) of FTs were not holding open board meetings at all. Governors’ satisfaction levels regarding their open board meetings varied from trust to trust. There was some controversy as to how often they were held and how open they were. This raised the question of whether some trusts are really willing to operate in a culture of transparency.

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