Recommendation 245

Board level responsibility for information

Accepted in principle
Each provider organisation should have a board level member with responsibility for information.

Boards must have both reliable intelligence to support the delivery of high quality care and the skills and training needed to use that intelligence appropriately.

While it is for trusts to agree the roles and responsibilities of individual board members locally, in line with this recommendation the Department of Health supports:

  •  the NHS Leadership Academy who set out clear roles for Executive Directors in taking ‘… principal responsibility for providing accurate, timely and clear information to the board’ as part of The Healthy NHS Board, and
  •  forums such as the Chief Clinical Information Officers Leaders Network, established by eHealth Insider, with the support of the Royal College of Physicians, to support doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who are taking the lead on information and its use within organisations.

The Department of Health also support programmes that embed informatics within the work of non-board members including clinicians and staff.  These include the Clinical Leaders Network’s Embedding Informatics in Clinical Education, an online tool to train about the use of informatics in clinical work.

In addition, the Care Quality Commission’s new inspection process includes an assessment of whether a provider is well led.  In A New Start they stated that ‘well led’ providers will have effective leadership that listens and learns from information about services such that they are able to have open discussions about the quality of services that are evidence based.  The Care Quality Commission will start inspecting all acute service providers from 2014 using this new process.

Update

This recommendation is aimed at provider organisations and the response is unchanged.