Board Committees

Dorset HealthCare's Trust Board approves, annually, a schedule of matters which it reserves to itself. These include the power to set the vision, strategic aims, objectives and budget for the Trust.

Other matters are delegated to Board Committees, which operate within defined terms of reference. The Trust's Board Committees are:

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee is a committee of the Board of Directors responsible for overseeing, monitoring and reviewing corporate reporting, the adequacy and effectiveness of the governance, risk management and internal control framework and systems and areas of legal and regulatory compliance at Dorset HealthCare and the external and internal audit functions. This includes speaking up (including whistleblowing) and counter fraud.

There are three Non-Executive Director members of the Committee, all of whom are independent. The Chief Finance Officer, Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer regularly attend meetings and the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up Guardian attends meetings at least twice each year.

Mental Health Legislation Assurance Committee (MHLAC)

The Mental Health Legislation Assurance Committee has been established by the Board of Directors to provide specialist advice to the Board and Quality Governance Committee in respect of compliance with law and best practice in relation to the rights of mental health services users. The Committee’s membership is made up of a mix of Non-Executive and Executive Directors.

There is a clear separation of the Committee’s role in acquiring and scrutinising assurances as to quality governance in mental health services and that of conducting the review process for detained patients in accordance with the required provisions of mental health legislation, undertaken by Mental Health Act Panel members. Panel members are independent lay people who have been trained in mental health legislation and provide a pool of individuals from which members of Mental Health Act Panels for individual cases can be drawn. The chair of the Committee also chairs the Trust’s Mental Health Act Panel Members’ Forum.

Quality Governance Committee (QGC)

The Quality Governance Committee acquires and scrutinises assurances that Dorset HealthCare has a combination of structures and processes at and below Board level that equip it to deliver high quality clinical services. The QGC provides further scrutiny of the quality of services. The membership of the QGC is made up of a mix of Non-Executive and Executive Directors.

This QGC is supported by the Quality Governance Group (formerly known as the Clinical Governance Group), which meets monthly to examine the internal quality and clinical processes and provide an in-depth review of data to ensure the effectiveness of the systems operated by the organisation.

Finance and Transformation Committee

In September 2020, the Board established the Transformation Committee to provide support to, and assurance in respect of, the development and delivery of the Trust’s transformation programme. The Committee’s membership is made up of a mix of Non-Executive and Executive Directors.

From September 2023, the Committee took on responsibility for overseeing, monitoring and reviewing financial planning and performance and the development and delivery of the Trust’s capital plan, becoming the Finance and Transformation Committee.

Working Together Committee

The Working Together Committee was established in 2023 by the Board of Directors of Dorset HealthCare and Dorset County Hospital to strengthen collaboration, promote integration and to simplify decision-making relating to the Working Together Programme for the benefit of patient care and experience and population health. The Committee oversees and scrutinises all aspects of programme governance, patient safety, experience and the delivery of expected benefits and programme aims of:

  • prevention of ill health
  • tackling health inequalities
  • parity of esteem and better integration between physical and mental health
  • joined-up workforce planning and development.

The Working Together Committee operates as a committee in common (two separate committees meeting at the same time and same place with the same agenda). Its membership comprises an equal number of Non-Executive and Executive Directors from each trust, including the Joint Chair and Joint Chief Executive Officer.

Appointments and Remuneration Committee

The Board has established an Appointments and Remuneration Committee which is responsible for appointing Executive Directors and reviewing and determining their remuneration.

All Non-Executive Directors are members of the Committee. The Chief Executive has a right to be in attendance as a member of the Committee when other Executive Director appointments are being determined and may be invited to attend when the remuneration of the other Executive Directors is under discussion.

Trust Board