Tag Archives: velindre nhs trust

Have you got the right people on your board?


It’s been a busy couple of months for us here at the Good Practice Exchange. Far from winding down to the festive period, we’ve run events looking at issues for trustees and in governance. We’re now in the process of collating all the outputs together and making sure we get them sent out to attendees and shared through social media.

As a team we try and ensure that our events reach as many different sectors as possible, as we believe that there’s a lot that we can learn from each other. It’s a point that the Auditor General for Wales made in the opening session at the Trustees seminar – that governance issues aren’t confined to either big or small public service organisations.


It was fascinating to see common issues crop up at both the Trustees event, where the audience was predominantly from charity and community groups, and the Governance event, where people were mainly board members and staff from the public sector.

At the governance events I facilitated Grant Thornton’s session on ‘Approaches to governance from further afield’. In the discussion following the presentation we heard from delegates on issues of ensuring that the right people are on the board.

There are lots of resources on our Trustees Pinterest Board that relate to this. In 2013 Norma Jarboe’s presentation on Balanced Boards dealt with the topic head-on, and following up from that event we recorded a short podcast with Ray Singh from Velindre NHS Trust discussing their skills based boards.

At this year’s event Anna Bezodis from Wales Council for Voluntary Action and Alex Swallow of Young Charity Trustees ran a workshop specifically on having the right people on your board and succession planning.  There are some great points in the presentation on thinking about the skills available on your board. Vicky Holberry of Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham helpfully shared a training-needs-analysis, which can be used by organisations to identify skills gaps.

As ever, we can accomplish a lot by sharing and working together. We always share the delegate list with everyone who attended the seminar with a list of ideas people are sharing and things they’d like to learn. Hopefully the cross-organisational and cross-sector learning will continue, and we will of course share any good practice that we unearth along the way.


Balanced Boards

Trustees Shared Learning Seminar

The recent Trustee Shared Learning Seminars resulted in a rich seam of approaches shared by delegates in Norma Jarboe’s workshop on Balanced Boards. Norma shared some current thinking around the importance of having a balanced board and some very thought provoking stats which reinforced some of her key messages, which you can see below.

During the workshop, delegates also shared some of their approaches with their workshop attendees. Following the workshop, I caught up with a few of the delegates to capture their comments.

I would like to thank Bernadette Fuge, Chair of Age Cymru, Ray Singh, Independent Member (Legal) of Velindre NHS Trust Board and Joanne Moore, HR and Governance Manager for Learning Disability Wales for giving up their time freely to enable us to share their knowledge as wide as possible.

Bernadette Fuge

Bernadette Fuge, shared Age Cymru’s approach in how they obtained a board with the necessary skill sets that reflected the direction of their organisation. Ray Singh also shared Velindre NHS Trust Board’s approach. Joanne Moore from Learning Disability Wales, shared the changes they have recently undertaken to widen the diversity of their board. In particular, how they recruited their new trustees and the different type of media they used to access hard to reach groups. At this point, several workshops attendees were busily scribbling down some of Joanne’s suggestions. Here comments are captured in this podcast.

Trustee Co-option seems to be a popular solution for some boards to bridge certain skill gaps.

Ray Singh of Velindre NHS Trust / Ray Singh o Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Velindre

Some delegates were struggling with the need to limit the time members served on their boards; some delegates shared situations where some board members had been members for more than 17 years. Ray Singh, Velindre NHS Trust Board’s Independent Board Member shared their approach to this matter. Bernadette Fuge also shared Age Cymru’s approach.

One of the very interesting approaches Age Cymru have adopted in recent years is annual appraisals for their Board Trustees. Bernadette provides more details in this podcast.

Several of the workshop delegates shared their inability to access hard to reach groups. Joanne Moore, HR and Governance Manager for Learning Disability Wales to share some of their approaches. Several workshops delegates were busily writing down what Jo had to say. So if you weren’t at this workshop, here is what she had to say.

Learning Disability Wales / Anabledd Dysgu Cymru

Hopefully, this blog has given you a bit of a flavour of the useful sharing of information that went on the Balanced Boards workshop. We have further information to share with you from our North Wales seminar so what this space!