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 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 by the Corporate Governance team with the appropriate Committee/ICB Board approval where required. The handbook will then be taken to the Board on an annual basis. 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.

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 People and Culture 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.

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

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.