In line with guidance on fighting the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and in the interests of protecting our patients and staff, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust are unable to hold a board meeting in public at this time. Members of the public who wish to observe the meeting from their homes can now do so by following the web link which is published alongside the Board papers. All papers will continue to be published to the website in the usual way and members of the public are invited to submit questions to the Board in line with the Trust’s normal process.
Given the uncertainty as to how long the current restrictions will be required, the position set out above will remain in place until further notice. However, we look forward to welcoming back members of the public to our Board meetings as soon as the necessary steps to limit the transmission of COVID-19 are lifted.
The Trust Board, which is made up of executive directors and non-executive directors, is responsible for setting the overall policy and strategy for the organisation and for ensuring the effective implementation of that strategy. The board meets on a monthly basis to approve new policies, receive reports on performance and make decisions about how the Trust is run.
Questions from the public at board meetings
We welcome feedback and questions from the public. We hold a Board meeting in public once a month. Details of future meetings, together with agendas and approved minutes from previous meetings are available on our website.
Board meetings, whilst held in public, are not public meetings. This means that the public are very welcome to attend but cannot take part in discussions. For this reason, our Chair will conduct a short item before the start of each public Board agenda to acknowledge and where possible respond to questions from the public which have been submitted in writing in advance of the meeting.
As of June 2019 the Board moved to paperless meetings. This means all Board reports are now only produced electronically.
Subject matter for questions
Anyone may submit a written question on any matter within the powers and the duties of the Trust relating to the items for discussion on the agenda for the meeting. The Chair reserves the right to refuse any written question that:
• is not within the powers and duties of the Trust to answer;
• is defamatory or offensive, or related to individual members of staff;
• would require the disclosure of confidential or exempt information;
• Is deemed to be overtly political;
• is substantially the same as a question that has been answered before.
In addition, the Chair may decide not to deal with complex or lengthy subjects in the meeting and may choose to respond with written answers instead, or ask for the query to be submitted as a Freedom of Information request.
Process for submitting questions
Questions will be answered if submitted in writing or by electronic mail to the Trust Secretary by no later than midday on the day before the date of the Board meeting. Where a Board meeting falls on the Tuesday immediately after a Bank Holiday Monday, questions should be submitted by no later than midday on the Friday before the Board meeting.
Questions must show the name and address of the person submitting the question and, if submitted on behalf of an organisation, the organisation’s address must also be stated.
No more than one question may be submitted by any person for each meeting to allow us to deal with a fair cross-section of questions. We will endeavour to provide a response at the meeting which will be offered by a member of the Board to the Chair.
Where more than one question is submitted, the Board will only accept the first of those questions. Where questions have more than one element only the first of these will be considered for response.
Procedure at the Board meeting in public
The Chair will announce the start of the question session at 9.15am lasting up to 30 minutes. The Chair will read out the question submitted and then a response where possible will be given to the Board. Questions will be addressed in the order that they were received by the Trust Secretary.
To allow the timely conclusion of the meeting, further discussion will not follow once a response to a question has been given and Board members will not enter into further discussions with members of the public during the main board meeting. Should the 30 minutes given not allow time for all of the submitted questions to be addressed then a response to the unanswered questions will be provided in writing at a later date.
For further information on this guidance and for the submission of questions please contact the Trust Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The first part of the meeting is held in public, which means you are welcome to attend as an observer. Board meetings, whilst held in public, are not public meetings this means that the public are very welcome to attend but cannot take part in discussions. For this reason, our Chair is happy to conduct a short session at the end of each public Board in order to acknowledge questions which have been submitted in writing in advance of the meeting.
The next public Trust Board meetings for United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust are due to take place on: