PREVIOUSLY restricted board papers from meetings of the organisation running Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital are to be made available to the public.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has announced items that will be discussed in private at the monthly meeting of its board will now appear alongside its usual agenda, meaning patients will be able to see what is due to be discussed after the public and press are asked to leave the meeting.
The trust’s patient representative Paul Crawford has also been asked to join the board in a move to increase accountability and transparency.
The trust’s chairman Harry Turner welcomed the move.
“Over the past year or so we have consciously put more and more items on the public agenda that in the past may have been discussed in private,” he said.
“Important areas relating to patient safety and quality of care are discussed openly and frankly every month to ensure transparency and, importantly, enable our local population to see exactly how we are delivering key standards and properly hold us to account.
“Today’s announcement takes this a step further.”
He added the only items that will now be discussed in private at the meetings from now on will be those which are commercially sensitive or relating to patient or staff confidentiality.
“Having our patient representative attend the private board meeting as well as the public one will serve not only to remind us that patients are at the very centre of everything will do, but his contribution will be invaluable,” he said.
“This is our biggest commitment yet to giving our patients a voice so that their services can be improved.”
Mr Crawford said he was pleased to be invited to join the board.
“The trust is determined to give patients a voice to help improve services and to illustrate the board’s determination to show greater transparency,” he said.
“This is yet another way to show their commitment to put patients at the centre of everything they do and to openly display their insistence in delivering key standards of care for all Worcestershire patients."
The trust’s next board meeting will be held at Worcestershire Royal Hospital on Wednesday, April 30.
Board papers will be available five days before at www.worcsacute.nhs.uk/about-us/trust-board-meetings-2014/