Hospitals and NHS Trusts hold very strict and defined Governance practices and similar to NFP organisations. Their work can be focussed on providing exceptional secretariat services to boards and committees but also to answer any queries presented by Trustees or Non-Executive Directors.
Company Secretaries in this environment will have to work proactively with NHS England and the Department of Health alongside following other guidelines. Within the NHS, Company Secretaries play a key role in designing and implementing policy in relation to corporate governance and often deputise for the Chief Executive.
Key responsibilities might include:
Administrative: Ensuring that all committees are properly serviced and should manage information flows between the board, its committees, and senior management.
Conscience of the organisation: The Company Secretary should be the interface between different elements of the board, the first point of contact for NEDs and governors, and a trusted advisor to board members, governors and senior management.
Governance: The Company Secretary should play a central role in governance – advising the board on all current governance matters, managing the induction and development of board members and governors, and enhancing board and committee structures including co-ordinating effectiveness reviews.
Compliance: The Company Secretary should manage procedures to ensure compliance with any relevant regulatory and legal requirements.
Governors: in the case of NHS Foundation Trusts: The Company Secretary should manage the governors, organise and attend the Council of Governors meetings (including the annual general meeting), and endeavour to integrate the governors with the rest of the organisation in support of core values and goals.