A New Approach to Governance – Non-Executive Lay Members on the Greater Manchester PSTRC Executive Management Board

17 Jan

by Dave Edwards

  • Lay Non-Executive Member of GM PSTRC EMB
  • Lead Governor, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
  • PPI Participant in Research – UoM Division of Cardiovascular Sciences/Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
  • OUTREACH Trial Steering Committee Member – MAHSC @ The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust



For the latest embodiment of the Greater Manchester PSTRC, it was decided to enhance the governance of the Centre by adding a lay dimension to the process. The intention is to broaden the accountability of the Centre by providing a challenging influence at Executive Board level which is not motivated purely by the academic and research aspects of the group, rather by an independent or external view of the workings of the Centre. Assurance on features such as budget, timeline & milestones, adherence to the Centre’s primary brief and purpose and its actual achievements can thus be measured in a more rounded way.


As a result, the position of non-executive lay board member has been created, with the intention of having two such people on the EMB.

Benefits to the Centre

With a lay aspect applied to the governance of the Centre, the following challenges, amongst others, can be more objectively presented during the assurance seeking process at management board meetings:

  • Is the Centre fulfilling its general brief?
  • Is the programme of events going to plan?
  • Do any methods or processes need considering for modification in any way?
  • Are the ongoing activities proving to be appropriately relevant?
  • Are any ‘spin-off’ benefits being realised?
  • Is the Centre performing in accordance with the designated budget?
  • Is the Centre performing such that its reputation will generate further opportunities?

Bearing in mind the above, it seems reasonable to expect the Centre to operate in a more direct and effective way, which will in turn improve the outcome and enhance the experience of not only those participating directly in the research themes but also those managing and supporting the venture.

Benefits to the Lay Non-Executives

As far as the non-executive lay board members are concerned, I see the satisfaction of taking on a challenge, contributing to the success of the Centre and widening one’s experience as providing good enough reason for becoming involved. Moreover, meeting the wide range of people involved in carrying out the role is a bonus to me.

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