Weighing up the pros and cons of chairing two trust boards

12 March 2020

 A report by NHS Providers highlights the potential benefits and risks of more than one trust sharing a chair.

This arrangement is becoming increasingly common for a range of different reasons, often including a trend towards greater collaboration and consolidation of trusts, a drive to improve quality and efficiency, and new partnerships with the development of system working.

Examples of the benefits cited in Chairing more than one trust board include:

The report also highlights some of the most common areas of risk to be managed identified by people in joint chair roles, including conflicts of interest, time commitment, and appointments and removal from office by the council of governors.

There are also reflections from colleagues who have adopted dual chair roles for a range of different reasons. Trust case studies include:

The director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, Miriam Deakin said:

"We know that the option for more than one trust to share a chair is being explored by a number of trusts boards, for a variety of different reasons. While there are no insurmountable barriers to developing this model effectively, it does raise a series of different risks which need to be managed.

"We hope that this briefing proves helpful in sharing the experiences of a number of joint chair roles to date, in highlighting risks they have had to manage, and in sharing learning around the opportunities for improvement that these arrangements can create."