The Trust Board has four Committees and a sub-committee to scrutinise the Trust’s governance systems and to provide assurance to the Trust Board on their effectiveness:
- Audit Committee
- Remuneration Committee
- Charitable Trust Funds Advisory Committee
- Assurance Committee and its sub-committee, Engagement Experience and Equality Group
The Audit Committee is a Board Committee, which has a central role in the Trust’s Governance Framework. Its Terms of Reference include the duties set out below in respect of internal control.
- To ensure the adequacy of all risk and control related disclosure statements (in particular the Governance Statement), together with any accompanying Head of Internal Audit statement, external audit opinion or other appropriate independent assurances, prior to endorsement by the Board.
- To ensure the adequacy of the underlying assurance processes that indicate the degree of the achievement of corporate objectives, the effectiveness of the management of principal risks and the appropriateness of the above disclosure statements.
- To ensure the adequacy of the policies for ensuring compliance with relevant regularity, legal and code of conduct requirements, including the Trust’s Standing Orders and Standing Financial Instructions.
- To ensure the adequacy of the policies and procedures for all work related to fraud and corruption as required by the DoH Counter Fraud Policy Unit. This includes oversight of progress on all suspected or actual fraud cases identified and regularly reported to the DoH.
- To review the annual schedule of losses and compensation payments and make recommendations to the Board regarding their approval.
- To review on a periodic basis the Trust’s Whistleblowing Register.
The Committee currently has three Non-Executive members and is chaired by a Non-Executive Director.
The Committee provides assurance to the Trust Board and the Accounting Officer on the systems of internal control. Minutes of meetings are presented to the Trust Board.
The Remuneration Committee is a Committee of the Trust Board tasked with the responsibility for approving the remuneration of Executives. The Committee is chaired by a Non-Executive and is comprised of three Non-Executive Directors in total.
The main functions of the Committee are:
- To advise the Board on performance, development, succession planning and appropriate remuneration and terms of service for the Chief Executive and all Senior Executives, guided by DoH policy and best practice.
- To provide advice to the Board on remuneration including all aspects of salary as well as arrangements for termination of employment and other contractual terms.
- To ensure robust objectives, performance measures and evaluation processes are in place within the Trust in respect of Senior Executives.
- To make such recommendations to the Board on succession planning and on the remuneration, allowances and terms of service of the Chief Executive and, on the advice of the Chief Executive, other Senior Executives.
- To ensure that the Chief Executive and Senior Executives are fairly rewarded for their individual contribution to the organisation, having proper regard to the organisation’s circumstances and performance and to the provision of national arrangements.
- To monitor and evaluate the performance and development of the Chief Executive and on the advice of the Chief Executive, the other Senior Executives of the Trust.
- To advise the Board and oversee appropriate contractual arrangements for the Chief Executive and Senior Executives including the proper calculation and scrutiny of termination payments taking account of relevant guidance as appropriate.
Charitable Trust Funds Advisory Committee
The Charitable Trust Funds Advisory Committee is chaired by a Non-Executive Director with senior staff including the Director of Finance in attendance. The Charitable Trust Funds Advisory Committee oversees the administration of Charitable Trust Funds in line with the Trust’s Standing Financial Instructions. The role of the Committee is to oversee the administration, including banking arrangements, of Charitable Trust Funds, its investment and disbursement. It also ensures that a strategic approach is adopted with regard to charitable expenditure and that Directorates produce and implement annual expenditure plans relating to all funds at their disposal.
The Assurance Committee consists of all Non-Executive Directors. The Committee has oversight of Integrated Governance and the effectiveness of the Assurance Framework of the Trust. It will evaluate all available evidence to provide an assurance to the Board that the systems of control are operating effectively and that structures support good governance. The Committee is chaired by the Trust Chairman.
- Evaluates risks to the achievement of the Trust’s objectives
- Regularly reviews arrangements for risk management and corporate governance and agrees further updates/changes with Executive Directors
- Considers the effectiveness of the key controls through which risks will be managed
- Ensures the views of the local community, relevant experts and staff input are incorporated into the development of services
- Seeks assurance that timely reports are made on recommendations and remedial actions taken or proposed to mitigate any internal failing in systems or services.
The work of the Assurance Committee is supported by the Assurance & Improvement Group, composed of Executive and Operational Directors, which provides an operational focus to risk management and integrated governance. The Assurance & Improvement Group is chaired by the Chief Executive.
Engagement, Experience and Equality Group
The Engagement, Experience and Equality Group is a sub-committee of Assurance Committee, chaired by the Deputy Chief Executive. The group includes representation from Trust Board including Non-Executive Directors, the Patient and Client Council, Service Users and Senior Management Team. The group assures the Trust is compliant with the following legislation/guidance.
- HSC Complaints Standards and Guidelines
- DoH Standards for Improving Patient Experience/10,000 voices
- Personal and Public Involvement
– Engagement and Consultation
– Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998
– Human Rights Act 1998
– Section 49a of the Disability Discrimination Act
- Carers’ Strategy
The Assurance Committee has three other sub-committees.
- Clinical Governance Steering Group
- Corporate Governance Steering Group
- Social Care Steering Group