• An exploration of the roles and experiences of governance officers in an NHS trust

      Kanjilal, Mahuya; Jester, Rebecca; Haynes, Mike; Ahme, Taiwo Jumoke; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-09)
      Background Accountability is a key issue in the UK National Health Service (NHS). Clinical governance officers are a relatively new group of staff that are employed to help ensure accountability at the local level of the NHS. Aim This thesis explores the role of governance officers in an NHS Trust. It examines how they negotiate the space between managers and clinicians to ensure accountability. Method Using a phenomenological approach, semi-structured interviews and a focus group were conducted to explore lived experiences and views of governance officers. The study draws on theoretical frameworks relating to role theory, Foucault’s theory of power and Bourdieu’s theory of habitus. The data is analysed thematically using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) method. Findings and Discussion The key themes emerging from the data are the governance officer role; pleasures and pains; unity versus diversity; in pursuit of accountability; the dual role of the governance officer (policing and nurturing); self-perception and perception of others; complex connections. Surveillance, a network of interactions and power dynamics influence how governance officers ensure accountability and this shapes their identity. Recommendations The major recommendations of the study are to review training relating to the governance officer role; to streamline processes in order to efficiently enhance accountability; to develop the role of the governance officer and its positionality within ensuring accountability, by the formation of Communities of Practice in order to enhance their identity and professional standing. Conclusion This study has addressed a gap in knowledge by providing an insight into the governance officer’s role. This pivotal role is important in ensuring accountability at the local level of the NHS and also in providing high-quality patient treatment and care.