Board of Trustees- April 2010
The Association's board of trustees met on 24 April 2010 in Kettering, where they:
- Provided clarification on the Association’s position on assisted suicide, by approving a new position policy statement for use in campaigning and as guidance for our staff and volunteers. The statement confirms that we neither support nor oppose a change in the law on assisted suicide, and that we are here to support all people with MND, regardless of their individual views in this area.
- Received the first results from an enhanced monitoring survey of health and social services for people with MND. This aims to provide an ‘early warning system’ of where cuts in public spending are being felt – as the basis for taking action to mitigate the impact on people with MND
- Approved the 2010-15 Association biomedical research strategy, to give direction to the way we fund and promote world-class research and thus ensure we keep on track for a world free of MND
- Agreed funding for five new research projects, to be undertaken by Dr Kevin Talbot (Oxford), Dr Richard Wade-Martins (Oxford), Prof Richard Ribchester (Edinburgh), Prof Chris Shaw (King’s) and Prof Jackie de Belleroche (London)
- Also agreed to £800,000 of funding over three years for a high-profile international collaboration to develop the use of stem cells at the leading edge of MND research
- Appointed Peter Bickley, a retired economist whose father died from MND in 2003, as a co-opted member of the board, filling the remaining vacancy
- Reviewed the register of strategic and operational risks. This was subsequently scrutinised by the board’s governance committee, where it was agreed that for easier management operational risks would be administered within directorates, with major risks being reported regularly to the board
- Re-confirmed their acceptance of the code of conduct for trustees
- Agreed to retain a flexible approach to the process of selecting and endorsing nominations for public honours, eg MBEs and OBEs, and to consider each case on its own merits
- Approved a new strategic approach to managing and developing the Association’s people resources – that is, our volunteers and staff
- Discussed potential contingency plans in case the Association suffers a drop in income as a result of planned public spending cuts. These cuts may affect us as a charity that is almost entirely dependent on voluntary donations. Currently, our income is holding steady, as was reported to trustees in the regular management accounts.
- Approved in principle the setting up of a new incorporated structure for the Neurological Commissioning Support (NCS), a joint initiative between the Association, the MS Society and Parkinson’s UK which works with councils and primary care trusts to ensure the needs of people with long-term neurological conditions are kept at the heart of commissioning.