Recommendation 74

Guidance for foundation trust governors

Monitor and the Care Quality Commission should publish guidance for governors suggesting principles they expect them to follow in recognising their obligation to account to the public, and in particular in arranging for communication with the public served by the Foundation Trust and to be informed of the public’s views about the services offered.

Monitor published a number of guidance documents for foundation trust governors, most recently a revised version of Your duties: a brief guide for NHS foundation trust governors. This includes guidance on the new statutory duties from the  Health and Social Care Act 2012, including that of representing the interests of members and of the public. This guidance has been published in association with the Department of Health, Care Quality Commission, Foundation Trust Network and Foundation Trust Governors Association.

Working in partnership with Monitor and the Foundation Trust Network, the NHS Leadership Academy has commissioned the GovernWell Programme, a new national training programme for foundation trust governors. The GovernWell programme is designed to help equip governors and non-executives with the skills they need to perform effectively, including improving their ability to challenge quality problems.

Monitor has also set up the panel for advising governors, which has a former foundation trust chair as its chair, together with 16 other experienced members. The panel has been operational since May 2013 and is ready to take questions from governors on topics as per the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Monitor, the Department of Health, Care Quality Commission, Foundation Trust Network and Foundation Trust Governors Association have agreed to publish jointly a summary guide for all Councils of Governors on the respective roles of the sponsoring organisations, how they work together and how they work with Governors, by the end of December 2013.

Following this, the group is planning a series of good practice guides on key aspects of the governor role.  The first of these guides is planned to be on representing the interests of members of the public, and is intended also to guide Foundation Trusts on how they will need to support governors in this aspect of their role.


In March 2014 Monitor published ‘Your duties: a brief guide for NHS foundation trust governors’ which sets out the role of Monitor and Care Quality Commission and also reminds governors of their legal responsibility to represent the interests of the public and members of the Foundation Trust. Work is also in hand to produce material to assist governors in representing the interests of the public. This guide is being produced with Monitor and NHS Providers and will be published shortly