Member resource defining and elaborating the role of an NHS foundation trust chair

The autonomies granted to NHS foundation trusts place the very highest burden on the chair and the board, who bear full responsibility and liability for the performance of the organisation. The NHS Foundation Trust Code of Governance states:

’All directors, executive and non-executive, have responsibility to constructively challenge the decisions of the board and help develop proposals on priorities, risk mitigation, values, standards and strategy.'

The roles and responsibilities of the chair include the following:

  • Provide clear leadership of the board and set the foundation trust’s values and standards
  • Demonstrate an ability to set the board agenda
  • Lead the other non-executive directors in holding the executive to account for the satisfactory operation and management of the foundation trust
  • Develop a close and constructive relationship with the chief executive and finance director, providing support and guidance while respecting executive responsibility, including conducting a performance appraisal of the chief executive
  • Working with primary care trusts to ensure the effective delivery of services commissioned through contracted arrangements
  • Ensuring that there is appropriate delegation of authority from the board of directors to the senior management team.

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