Click here to return to our home page  

Perinatal Institute - Governing Board
Terms of Reference

Approved 15/11/2006

NHS Logo

About Us
Our Mission
The Team
Contact Us

    Terms of







The West Midlands Perinatal Institute (WMPI) is an NHS organisation hosted by Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT. It was established in 2000 to address issues concerning perinatal morbidity and mortality in the Region. It is core-funded from Regional Levies and receives additional resources for specific projects carried out on the basis of service level agreements for each Project.

WMPI will assist organisations across the West Midlands to improve perinatal care and outcomes through: i) audit, research and education; ii) the dissemination of evidence of models of care producing best health outcomes; iii) the development of strategies for their effective introduction into routine care.

The Institute’s activities benefit from the development and maintenance of networks and connections of both a National and International nature. Funded projects from outside the West Midlands do arise from these activities.

Principal Stakeholders

The Principal Stakeholders of the WMPI are the West Midlands Primary Care Trusts.

The authority and roles of the Governing Board as set out in this Terms of Reference is granted to the Board by the Principal Stakeholders through the core contract held between WMPI and the West Midlands Regional Levies Board – which represents the interests of all West Midlands PCTs.

The WMPI is equally accountable to all the Principal Stakeholders through the Governing Board.

The Principal Stakeholders have agreed, through the Levies Board, to establish and support the WMPI as a non-statutory organisation specifically set up for the following purposes:

  • to provide audit, research and educational support to PCTs on the improvement of perinatal care and health outcomes across the West Midlands
  • to provide audit, research and educational support to Providers and their clinicians in their seeking improvements in
  • perinatal care practices across the West Midlands
  • to assist PCTs and provider units with strategies to reduce perinatal and infant mortality and morbidity
  • to provide the dissemination of evidence for best practice and to work in collaboration with Providers and PCTs to develop strategies for their effective introduction into routine care
  • for other, related purposes as established by the Governing Board

The Principal Stakeholders have agreed, through the Levies Board, to equally share any risks and future liabilities that may arise as a consequence of the activities or investment in the WMPI.


The purpose of the Governing Board is, on behalf of the principal stakeholders, to provide a Corporate Authority for the West Midlands Perinatal Institute, and to steer and support its activities in such ways that it is best able to fulfil its mission.  

Specific Roles of the Governing Board

  1. To approve the annual business plan and to hold to account the WMPI Director in his responsibility for delivering the plan.
  2. To approve the Audit and Research strategy that underpins the direction and purpose of the various activities of the WMPI.
  3. To approve, and to monitor the effectiveness of, the internal governance arrangements of the WMPI.
  4. To support the communications strategy of the WMPI that is necessary to maintain stakeholder confidence and to promote the adoption of best practice in perinatal care by the Commissioners and Providers.
  5. To support the Director of the WMPI in developing new proposals for activities that will support the mission.
  6. Collectively, and individually, to promote the value of the contribution of the WMPI towards the improvement of the perinatal performance in the West Midlands.
  7. To approve any new contracts for work that WMPI wish to undertake; specifically to ensure that the work is consistent with the business plan and objectives of WMPI and that the contracts do not present any undue potentially significant liability to the Principal Stakeholders.


The Board will consist of key stakeholders representing organisations responsible for commissioning and monitoring of maternity services.

  • Chief Executive of HoB PCT (Chair)
  • A Chief Executive of another WM PCT (outside Birmingham)
  • Medical Director of WM SHA
  • A Director of Public Health of WM PCT
  • A Chief Executive or Medical Director of Acute Trust in WM with a large Maternity Unit
  • Representative of the Regional Levies Executive Board   (unless RLB already represented through one of the above)
  • Director of WM Specialised Services Agency
  • Director of SANDS UK (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society)
  • Representative of the Birmingham Asian Women’s Network • Representative of the Caribbean Women’s Network
  • A Professor with a Research Portfolio from the WM Academic Institutions(probably outside the Birmingham Area)
  • Director of the West Midlands Perinatal Institute

The Board can co-opt additional members to add value to the achievement of specific goals for specific periods of time.


Three to four times yearly.


The proceedings and all decisions of the Governing Board shall be minuted. Copies of the Governing Board’s minutes, once approved as an accurate and correct record, shall be circulated by WMPI to (in addition to the members of the board):

  • The Principal Stakeholders
  • The West Midlands Strategic Health Authority
  • The Regional Levies Board

At least five members to include:

A Medical Director / Public Health Doctor
A funding stakeholder
A User Stakeholder
The Director of the WMPI


The Board is unlikely to establish sub-committees but it has the authority so to do. The employment and remuneration arrangements for all the WMPI employees are the responsibility of the host PCT. Hence, these arrangements for the Director of the WMPI are the responsibility of the Remuneration Sub-Committee of the host PCT. In order to make the necessary decisions this Sub-Committee of HoB tPCT will require advice and recommendations from a small group of members of the Governing Board of WMPI. Such a sub-group, under the Chairmanship of the Chair of the WMPI Governing Board, will need to be established by the WMPI Board to provide this information.

Members of the Board may also be involved in dealing with appeals concerning grievances or disciplinary matters of any of the employees, although these will be handled within the procedures of the host PCT.

Relationship to the HoB tPCT as the host organisation

As the WMPI is a non-statutory body it is recognised that Heart of Birmingham teaching PCT, as host to the WMPI, provides the following functions:


  • Facilitate all financial procedures including payments and invoicing either directly or indirectly on behalf of WMPI.
  • Maintain a financial ledger which will distinguish the income and expenditure for WMPI.
  • Provide petty cash.
  • Ensure WMPI complies with the PCT’s SFIs, SOs and schemes of delegation
  • Holds all contracts on behalf of WMPI


  • Employing authority for WMPI staff.
  • Payroll services
  • Provision of corporate functions e.g. HR, organisational development and training, legal advice.
  • Ensures WMPI adheres to corporate policies for risk, health and safety and clinical governance.

The CEO of HOBtPCT is the Accountable Officer for the WMPI but the Director of the WMPI is the responsible Budget Holder and Manager. The Director and staff of the WMPI have to work within the SFIs and Standing Orders of the host PCT.

All Principal Stakeholders, as specified in the contract with the Regional Levies Board, accept that this additional responsibility by Heart of Birmingham teaching PCT does not make them solely liable for any financial risks/errors incurred by the WMPI. These risks will remain the collective responsibility of all Principal Stakeholders.

The Principal Stakeholders also agree that HOBtPCT can apply a reasonable charge to WMPI for the costs that it incurs in providing these functions and that these costs will be recouped through the contracts that WMPI holds, including the contract with the Regional Levies Board.

The Director of the WMPI will have the CEO of HoB tPCT (also Chairman of the Governing Board) as his line manager.


© Perinatal Institute 2011