Standards for Members of NHS Boards and Governing Bodies in England
CMI submission to CHRE on Standards for members of NHS boards andgoverning bodies in EnglandApril 2012Contact:Philippa TuckerPublic Affairs Managerphilippa.email@example.comTel: 0207 421 2723
Summary CMI very much welcomes the forthcoming Standards of competence and behaviour for senior NHS leaders. We are in favour of all steps to strengthen and improve ethical standards for executive and non-executive NHS Board members in England. As the professional body for professional managers and leaders, CMI has many years’ experience of enforcing its own ethical code of conduct, which requires our members to operate in an open and honest way, to safeguard the reputation and assets of their employer organisation, and to continue to develop professionally. When necessary, CMI conducts disciplinary hearings and withdraws members from individuals who have been found to have breached the code of conduct. The proposed ethical standards are a good starting point – they cover the required competency areas for such senior individuals, ie. personal behaviours, technical competence and business practices. However, we would urge that the Standards include a reference to an individual striving to develop their leadership and management skills; although some of the behaviours of a professional leader are covered in the standard, there could be a greater emphasis placed on continuing professional development outside of technical competencies. We would also like to see the Standards extended to leaders and managers operating at all levels of the NHS. Although it is important to embed ethical standards and behaviours in the most senior individuals within an organisation, these behaviours should be displayed by all leaders and managers throughout the NHS, in order to protect patients and to help all those facing “dilemmas and difficult decisions” in their everyday work Ultimately, the test of the effectiveness of such Standards is the way they are applied and implemented. We understand that this is outside the scope of CHRE’s project. However, we urge CHRE, the Department of Health, and other key stakeholder bodies (eg. the Institute of Healthcare Managers, NHS Employers, NHS Confederation, etc) to coordinate closely the implementation of these standards. Without effective enforcement of the standards, they will simply become a paper-based exercise.About the Chartered Management InstituteThe Chartered Management Institute is the only chartered professional body in the UK dedicated topromoting the highest standards of management and leadership excellence. CMI sets the standardthat others follow.As a membership organisation, CMI has been providing forward-thinking advice and support toindividuals and businesses for more than 50 years, and continues to give managers and leaders, andthe organisations they work in, the tools they need to improve their performance and make an impact.As well as equipping individuals with the skills, knowledge and experience to be excellent managersand leaders, CMI’s products and services support the development of management and leadershipexcellence across both public and private sector organisations.Through in-depth research and policy surveys of its 90,000 individual and 450 corporate members,CMI maintains its position as the premier authority on key management and leadership issues.CMI conducts a wide range of activities in the health sector. We have around 3,000 members in thesector, and work with a range of NHS employers to deliver skills training, eg. qualifications, coachingand mentoring and accreditation services. Some examples of the health sector organisations we workwith include Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, the General Medical Council, the RoyalCollege of Physicians and the Heart of England NHS Trust, Birmingham.
Answers to consultation questionsBelow we have provided answers to the consultation questions which we feel require specificcomment.Question 2We feel that the existing areas are sufficient (i.e. personal behaviours, technical competence andbusiness practices) but the proposed Standards do not go far enough to improve the quality ofleadership and management.For example, under “personal behaviours”, CMI’s own code of ethics (a copy of which is attached)requires a manager to “strive for excellence at all times”. We also require leaders and managers to“act only within my level of competence and in accordance with the highest standards of professionalbehaviour and performance”, whereas the CHRE’s draft standards make no reference to an individualrecognising the limit of his or her competence, or striving to reach the highest standards ofprofessional behaviour.The “Integrity” bullet point could also go further – instead of “raising concerns if I see harmfulbehaviour or misconduct by others”, CMI’s code of practice requires an individual to “act consistentlyand fairly when addressing any shortfall in performance or standards of behaviour”. Given thebackdrop of events and incidents which these standards are designed to address, the standardswould be made stronger by an explicit reference to leaders taking responsibility for resolvinginstances of misconduct and harmful behaviour, rather than just raising concerns.In terms of technical competence, we consider that leadership and management skills go hand inhand with a person’s technical skills to make that person a professional manager. It would thereforestrengthen the Standards if they required a leader to develop and improve their leadership andmanagement skills, so as to improve the performance of the organisation as a whole.The reference to “patient experience” under point 5.5 could be made more explicit by referring insteadto “the views of patients, their families and carers”.Question 7Yes – we believe the standards should be applied to Executive and non-executive Board members.GeneralWe are happy for our response to be published or circulated as required – it is not confidential.CMIApril 2012