The Charity’s Board Meeting focused on quality care

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We held our latest Board meeting in mid-September and then followed this up with a Strategy half day to enable us to spend more time taking a longer-term view on issues affecting Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.

The theme for our Board meeting was how we deliver care and focus on quality improvement. Sara Robins, Clinical Services Director/Deputy CEO, gave a comprehensive presentation on the range of our services, how we receive feedback on them and how we seek to improve them.

The Integrated Care Board’s Quality Assurance team visit twice a year to monitor our service quality and the most recent visit was very positive with no recommendations for improvement. We are also externally assessed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).  The inspections assess whether our services are safe, effective, caring, and responsive and whether the Charity is well-led.  We are proud but not complacent, that our services have achieved the highest rating award from CQC of outstanding and work hard to continually improve what we do.

The other major item for the Board meeting was agreeing on our Financial Accounts for the year ending March 2023 and our Trustee Annual report.  The accounts had been audited by our External auditors and we were pleased that they raised no concerns and issued an unqualified audit opinion. Our Five-Year Strategy was agreed in 2021-22.  The Annual Report outlines the progress we have made against the objectives of that strategy. The report confirms that we remain focused on service quality and continuous improvement and that we continue to deliver on both.

We faced a number of challenges in 2022-23 in delivering on our priorities, particularly recruitment, staff retention, and financial pressures.  These issues provided the background for our Saturday morning Strategy session on 7 October where we took the time to consider the future and several potential scenarios we might face and how we might address them.  It was a wonderful opportunity for the Board and management team to spend a morning together face to face; to get to know each other better and to have the space to focus on what is important to the Charity.

Unsurprisingly the morning confirmed that we all have shared values for delivering quality services above all else. This principle will continue to shape how we plan and respond to the future.   Finding all of the funds we need to continue to provide our wide range of services is a significant challenge for us, as it is with the majority of hospices. We will continue to engage with all partners to ensure we can secure the required resources.

Feedback from Trustees was very positive about the session, and we have a clear action plan from the morning of what we want to focus on in future meetings to support our purpose of Making Every Moment Count.