Our Constitution

Governance Handbook

Declarations of interest

Gifts, hospitality & Sponsorship

NHS Dorset Constitution

The NHS Dorset Constitution is an important document that sets out what we’ll do and how we’ll work.

Our Constitution includes information on the board membership and governance arrangements for NHS Dorset, which is a requirement of the new Health and Care Act 2022.

NHS Dorset leaders have worked with key local stakeholders to develop the constitution before proposing it to NHS England. NHS Dorset’s Constitution came into effect from 1 July 2022.

NHS Dorset Constitution document

NHS Dorset Governance Handbook

The Governance Handbook for NHS Dorset Integrated Care Board (ICB) brings together key documents which support the Constitution and promote good governance. It contains practical procedural details for applying the Constitution including the:

  1. Scheme of Reservation and Delegation (“SoRD”)
  2. Standing Financial Instructions (“SFI”)
  3. Terms of Reference for Committees
  4. Personal Specifications and Role Descriptions of ICB Board

This handbook is not a legal requirement; however, it is an approach that will assist the ICB to build a consistent corporate approach and form part of the corporate memory.

If there is any ambiguity between the Constitution and this handbook, the interpretation in the Constitution will apply.

This handbook will be updated and approved on an annual basis and recommended for adoption by the ICB. Where there are changes to the documents referenced in the Constitution, an application, when necessary, will be made for approval to NHS England.

The full collated handbook is available, but for ease, a summary of the key sections within the handbook and associated links are set out below.

The Integrated Care Partnership (“ICP”) is a joint committee of the ICB with the local authorities whose areas fall wholly or partly within its, the ICB’s, area. The ICP is responsible for developing an integrated care strategy to address the health and social care needs within the whole area of the ICB, including determinants of health. The Terms of Reference for the ICP.

(a) Those functions that are reserved to the Board of the ICB

(b) Those functions that have been delegated to an individual or to committees and sub-committees

(c) Those functions delegated to another body, or to be exercised jointly with another body, under sections 65Z5, 65Z6 or 75 of the NHS Act 2006

The ICB remains accountable for all of its functions, including those it has delegated. All those with delegated authority are accountable to the Board of the ICB for the exercise of their delegated functions.

The SoRD.

(a) Key functions reserved to the Board of the ICB

(b) Commissioning functions delegated to committees and individuals

(c) Commissioning functions delegated under section 65Z5 and 65Z6 of the NHS Act 2006 (as amended by the Health and Care Act 2022) to be exercised by or with another ICB, an NHS trust, NHS foundation trust, local authority, combined authority or any other prescribed body

(d) Functions delegated to the ICB

The functions and decisions map.

Ambulance Joint Commissioning Committee: The Ambulance Joint Commissioning Committee is responsible for commissioning emergency ambulance services and has oversight of performance including sanctions resulting from provider breach of contract. The Terms of Reference for the Ambulance Joint Commissioning Committee.

Clinical Commissioning Committee: The Clinical Commissioning Committee is responsible for providing clinical leadership; supporting the development and implementation of the ICS clinical strategy; supporting partnership working and the commissioning of clinical pathways and policies. The Terms of Reference for the Clinical Commissioning Committee.

Finance and Performance Committee: The Finance and Performance Committee is responsible for providing oversight and assurance on the financial and operational performance of the Integrated care Board and its partner constituents. The Terms of Reference for the Finance and Performance Committee.

People and Culture Committee: The People and Culture Committee is responsible for providing oversight of the Integrated Care System People and Culture Strategy. The Terms of Reference for the Finance and Performance Committee.

Primary Care Commissioning Committee: The Primary Care Commissioning Committee is responsible for the review, planning and procurement of primary care services and other direct commissioning. The Terms of Reference for the Primary Care Commissioning Committee.

Quality and Safety Committee: The Quality and Safety Committee is responsible for providing assurance to the Integrated Care Board that it is delivering its functions in a way that secures continuous improvement in the quality of service against each of the dimensions of quality set out in the Shared Commitment to Quality. The Terms of Reference for the Quality and Safety Committee.

Remuneration Committee: Chaired by a non-executive member, the Remuneration Committee is responsible for matters relating to remuneration, fees and other allowances (including pension schemes) for employees and other individuals who provide services to the ICB. The Terms of Reference for the Remuneration Committee.

Risk and Audit Committee: Chaired by a non-executive member, the Risk and Audit Committee provides an independent and objective view of the ICB’s compliance with its statutory responsibilities and is responsible for arranging appropriate internal and external audit. The Terms of Reference for the Risk and Audit Committee.

There are currently no formal sub-committees.

The Standards of Business Conduct (incorporating Conflicts of Interest Policy) describes the public service values which underpin the work of the NHS and to reflect current guidance and best practice to which all individuals within NHS Dorset Integrated Care Board (ICB) must have regard in their work for the ICB.

NHS Dorset Governance Handbook

How NHS Dorset will be accountable and transparent

NHS Dorset will demonstrate its accountability to local people, stakeholders and NHS England in a number of ways, including by upholding the requirement for transparency in accordance with the National Health Service Act 2006.

We will:

  • Publish our constitution and other key documents including the governance handbook

  • Appoint non-executive members to the board

  • Manage actual or potential conflicts of interest in line with the NHS England’s Conflicts of Interests Statutory Guidance and Expected Standards of Good Practice

  • Hold Integrated Care Board meetings in public (except where we believe that it would not be in the public interest)

  • Publish an annual commissioning strategy

  • Procure services in accordance with prevailing legislation and guidance and publish a procurement strategy

  • Follow the key principles of openness, early and active involvement and fairness

  • Comply with local authority health overview and scrutiny requirements

  • Meet annually in public to present an annual report, which will then be published
  • Produce externally audited annual accounts

  • Publish a clear complaints process

  • Comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and with Information Commissioner Office requirements

  • Provide information to NHS England as required

  • Be an active member of local health and wellbeing boards

NHS Dorset Constitution document
NHS Dorset Governance Handbook

Declarations of interest

Declaring and registering interests

NHS Dorset maintains registers of the interests of:

  • Members of the integrated care board

  • Members of the board’s committees and sub-committees

  • Its employees

In accordance with the National Health Service Act 2006, all registers of interest will be published on this website.

All relevant persons must declare any conflict or potential conflict of interest relating to NHS Dorset’s commissioning functions at most within 28 days. This could include interests an individual is pursuing. Interests will also be declared on appointment and during relevant discussion in meetings.

All declarations will be entered in the registers and NHS Dorset will ensure that declarations of interest are made and confirmed or updated at least annually.


Gifts, hospitality and sponsorship

NHS Dorset will maintain and publish a register of gifts, hospitality and sponsorship for all employees, board members, committee and sub-committee members.

More information about can be found in the governance handbook


What our partners say

To build a truly collaborative approach with NHS Dorset and all the partners is so important and vital to make a difference to people’s lives, working together makes what we do so much sense, means we are stronger and better.

Alex Picot, Chief Executive, Dorset Community Action

The voluntary sector must mobilise its amazing potential so we can find solutions to the huge challenges faced by the National Health Service, embrace the opportunities the new Integrated Care System offers and help the of people Dorset live happier and healthier lives.

Linda O'Sullivan, Chief Executive, Dorset Mind
The development of NHS Dorset is a great opportunity for statutory and voluntary organisations to come together as equal partners and as part of the wider integrated care system, to put an end to the inflexibility that has created the existing inequalities for many of Dorset residents. The Dorset integrated care system will enable residents to be at the centre of all decision-making processes to reduce the health inequalities, to avoid duplication and to pool resources more effectively. These are exciting times that we all need to embrace to create a positive change for all and for the future.
Nathalie Sherring, Chief Executive, Dorset Race Equality Council

NHS Dorset, working together locally, offers us a huge opportunity to develop great partnerships and teamwork between support providers of all kinds in a whole range of different places. Creating better connections and integration with the huge contribution of the voluntary and community sector will support smarter working between all partners. Better integration will facilitate even more practical, grass-roots support that will improve the quality of life, health, and care of all Dorset’s residents.

Jon Sloper, Chief Executive, #HelpAndKindness

We need to listen, to learn by trying to understand other’s lived experiences, and we need to codesign the services that people and communities in Dorset need going forward. We need to work with others to help people not just live long, healthy lives, but long lives that add quality and that’s about personal happiness.

Patricia Miller OBE, Chief Executive, NHS Dorset

I believe there is a sea change in the relationship between the voluntary and statutory sectors. There is mutual respect, determination and a shared vision to provide a health service that strives to meet the needs of everyone in Dorset.

Nick Rowe, Project Manager, Dorset Community Mental Health Alliance

We believe that people and communities have a wealth of experience and expertise to contribute to the development and ongoing sustainability of a truly place-based and integrated care system for Dorset. By putting people and communities at the heart of system thinking, transformation and integration, we can move away from “them and us” culture to work collaboratively “all of us” as citizens of Dorset. Genuine integration and coproduction across Statutory, Voluntary and Community organisations and local communities will ensure that people and their voices are heard and integrated within all decisions that affect them and their lives.

Becky Aldridge, Chief Executive, Dorset Mental Health Forum

We must listen to people at the earliest stage of service design, development, and evaluation. Only through this approach can you truly understand what matters to people.

Ian Gall, Chair, Our Dorset Public Engagement Group
If not now when? We’re at a critical point in time – we all need to continue to pull together and work as equal partners with our communities … as everyone deserves to live well.
Karen Loftus, Chief Executive, Community Action Network

The role of parish and town councils as a source of key information for residents on a broad range of topics has moved into a more dynamic space following the Covid-19 pandemic. Community based social media fed by local councils, will play an increasingly important role.

Neil Wedge, Chief Executive, Dorset Association of Parish Town Councils

Healthwatch Dorset works hard to provide up-to date information and gather local people’s views on health and social care services. Our small staff team and amazing volunteers are passionate about giving people the opportunity to share their experiences of using health and social care services across Dorset and making sure that this valuable feedback reaches the powers that be and leads to positive change.

We work closely with NHS commissioners and providers, local councils, care providers and the voluntary sector, sharing people’s concerns and queries to help improve local services. The feedback we gathered last year; engagement with children and young people; our community outreach work with people experiencing homelessness and our latest reports on people’s access to dentistry and experience of using A&E services are helping the NHS and councils make service improvements.

We are really pleased to be working with NHS Dorset to develop a strategic approach to working with people and communities that puts local people’s views and experiences at the heart of decision-making.

Viv Aird, Chair, Healthwatch Dorset Steering Group

Understanding what really matters to people, and genuinely listening and responding to that, is at the heart of high-quality care, and improving people’s health and wellbeing.

Sam Crowe, Director, Public Health

The voluntary and community Sector holds a privileged position of supporting health and wellbeing at a local level.  By developing unified partnerships with NHS Dorset, we build stronger connections to individual voices and what communities want and need to thrive.

Caroline Moylan, Director of Homelessness, Bournemouth Churches House Association