Corporate governance refers to the set of systems, principles and processes by which a company is governed. It is concerned with; information governance, HR management, research and development, risk management, service user involvement and other clinical quality management processes such as clinical audit.
Corporate governance is most often viewed as both the structure and the relationships which determine corporate direction and performance. The board of directors is typically central to corporate governance. Its relationship to the other primary participants is critical. Additional participants include employees, service users, suppliers, and creditors.
Freeman Clinics recognises the importance of integrated governance and has structures in place that ensure the strategic direction, operational plan, standards for better health, national targets and financial planning are encompassed by an assurance framework that is robust and open to scrutiny. Robust policies and systems are in place to reduce risk, improve patient safety and develop the learning environment.
The organisation is governed by the Freeman Clinics Board of Directors who receive monthly reports to monitor financial and service performance and ensure that due corporate governance is in place. Clinical leadership is ensured through the clinical lead and Medical Lead of Freeman Clinics.
The issues of clinical governance and risk is reviewed on a systematic basis by the Organisational Medical Lead, clinical leads and management team who report to the Board on all clinical governance and risk matters. A member of the practice Patient Forum is invited to attend. There is an annual schedule of management team meetings which ensures that the core elements are reviewed in a structured way and any action plans required for improvements put in place.
Freeman Clinics has three subgroups of the Board which bring together frontline staff and non executive directors. This adds an important dimension to issues of governance.
Freeman Clinics have developed an integrated framework for clinical and non-clinical governance to ensure that the Board of Directors’ duty of care is discharged. The framework is designed to demonstrate compliance with the Care Quality Commission Standards and the Quality and Outcomes Framework together with any local quality improvement measures set by commissioners.
The framework describes the approach to quality management in the following three themes:
• Strategic capacity building
• Sustaining capability
• Managing quality improvement
These are underpinned by making best use of information for performance improvement.
Clinical Governance is a dedicated commitment to the pursuit of excellence; it concerns everyone within the organisation, where all individuals are accountable.
Our integrated governance framework promotes a culture and learning environment which encourages development of innovative models of primary care, whilst ensuring that we have robust systems in place to ensure we consistently review and audit practice. We work to ensure that clinical risks are minimised and that patient safety and interests remain the priority and focus of our work.
Health and safety leads are given a high level of training and support through the acute trusts and risk assessments are carried out with the frequency required of the level of risk presented in each area.
Our culture is one of openness to enable us to learn from our mistakes and to reward success. We hold critical and significant incident meetings to ensure that following any incident facts are made clear, any actions to be taken are noted and agreed and the meeting is held in a professional and learning environment. The Board will ensure that any lessons to be learnt are recorded, implemented and reviewed at an agreed date.