Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 requires directors to take into consideration the interests of stakeholders in their decision making. The board of directors is fully aware of its duties under s.172. The section details are set out below:

Under S172 (1)(a) to (f) of the Companies Act 2006 (the Act), directors of UK companies have a duty to promote the success of their company for the benefit of the members as a whole and, in doing so, have regard to:

a. The likely consequences of any decision in the long term

b. The interests of the company's employees

c. The need to foster the company's business relationships with suppliers, customers and others

d. The impact of the company's operations on the community and the environment

e. The desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct, and

f. The need to act fairly between members of the company.

This statement describes how directors have had regard to the matters set out when performing their duties under section 172. It is important to note that one group of stakeholders, patients, are the primary consideration for DHU. Therefore they are considered as part of criteria (C) above.   

Identifying the likely consequences of decisions in the long-term, and then having regard to those likely consequences, is part of the strategy and risk management processes within DHU. The board recognise that the long-term sustainability of company affects, and is affected by, all of the stakeholders/concepts referenced within s.172 and they have been factored into these processes. 

As a key part of the DHU’s philosophy, the board continues to place great importance on the interests of employees. In this reporting period, the staff well-being program has been accelerated, with the introduction of a new post of a dedicated Health, Well-Being and Diversity Coordinator.

Staff engagement is highly valued. The DHU board has supported the investment for the introduction of a new, digital communication platform for improved communication and a number of other functions. This is in addition to the regular meetings throughout the period between directors and colleagues, and multiple forums for colleagues to have discussions with directors for consultation, so that the views of employees can be taken into account in making decisions which are likely to affect their interests.

The involvement of employees has achieved a common awareness, on the part of all employees, of the financial and economic factors affecting the performance of the Company, as well as contribute to the future direction of the Company in terms of new services and patient care.

Patients are at the heart of everything which DHU does and the board consider patients first. The board regularly review and ensure that there is the appropriate governance in place to support patients, including sub-committees examining clinical governance, risk, and audit matters. Patient voices have been included within our Patient and Public Involvement groups, and through multiple mechanisms of engagement such as independent surveys. The DHU board is passionate about improving services for patients and the board fosters innovation. This means that DHU have been involved in health service pilots such as a specialist palliative care mobile team in Derbyshire, to allow patients near the end of their life to have access to all of the healthcare and support they require in one visit, as opposed to relying on different components of care from different sources. DHU has continued to seek and embed business relationships with other organisations within the health care community, through formal joint venture work and contracts, to pilots. This collaborative approach has been particularly valued during the Covid-19 pandemic throughout this reporting period, whereby the board have fully supported DHU’s involvement and leadership in responding to significant pressures and increase in activity. DHU reports regularly on its payment practices to suppliers, providing transparency, and an additional monitoring mechanism.

With full support of the board, DHU have stepped up and supported the frontline delivery of additional essential services in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. DHU have been fully engaged at a strategic, tactical and work stream level in support of the coordinated pandemic response and recovery, to meet the needs of patients across pathways within acute, emergency, community, urgent and primary care services. DHU has developed, implemented, monitored and reviewed its sustainability and environmental policies and procedures for this reporting period.

The Board of Directors set some clear plans to ensure that DHU has strong foundations for future growth and sustainability which included the achievement of ISO Accreditation for Quality Management Systems (ISO9001), Information Security Management (ISO27001) and Business Continuity (ISO22301). All of these international standards of quality support the quality care for our patients, and demonstrate the DHU are dedicated to conducting business to a high standard.

Note: DHU is a Community Interest Company, investing surpluses back into the health services it provides to the community, and does not have shareholders.

This statement was reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors on 2 November 2022.

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