Healthwatch Worcestershire Rules for good governance of a Public Board Meeting:

Appendix 1 Virtual Public Board Meetings

Appendix 2 Using Zoom Video Conferencing

Healthwatch Worcestershire will publish the time, date and venue of a Public Board Meeting 28 days in advance of the meeting unless circumstances do not permit.

The agenda for a Public Board Meeting and any supporting papers will be published, when possible, on the Company’s website 7 working days in advance of the date of the meeting. Copies of the agenda and supporting papers will be made available at the meeting on prior request.

Agenda items will be matters, which in the opinion of the Directors, are of interest to patients, service users, carers and the public who live or work in Worcestershire.

A Board meeting in public will normally be scheduled for 120 minutes of which 30 minutes will be allocated for public participation.

In order for the Board to provide an effective response to matters addressed to the Board the Directors request that the Company Secretary/Managing Director (MD) should be given a minimum of 2 working days’ notice, together with a written summary of the issue in no more than 500 words. This does not preclude a member of the public addressing the Board without notice with permission of the Chairman.

Questions and comment must be relevant to the local Healthwatch activities and should not be of a political or lobbying nature.

The Public Board Meeting is not an appropriate venue in which to discuss sensitive personal data such as detailed personal medical histories and these and similar matters can be discussed with Healthwatch Worcestershire confidentially.

A member of the public will be expected to limit their contribution to a maximum of 5 minutes. This can be extended at the discretion of the Chairman.

Those attending or participating in a Board meeting in public will be expected to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner and respect the dignity of others whether they are at the meeting or not. The Chairman reserves the absolute right to request a member of the public to cease their contribution or to leave the meeting if their conduct disrupts the business of the meeting.

Notes of a Public Board Meeting will be prepared for approval at the subsequent Public Board Meeting and will then be published on the Company’s website. Webcasting Healthwatch Worcestershire will webcast certain meetings where there is an item of significant interest to the population of Worcestershire and facilities exist to do so. At the start of each meeting to be filmed an announcement will be made that the meeting is or may be webcast. It will also be announced that the Chair may terminate or suspend the webcasting of the meeting should the Chair consider this necessary to maintain the proper running of the meeting.

Social Media

The Directors and those attending a Board meeting in public should be aware of the potential for those attending to publicly comment on the business of the meeting using social media channels such as Twitter.

A third party may film a Public Board Meeting so long as it does not cause disruption to the business or conduct of the meeting. Anyone wishing to film or record a Public Board Meeting may do so from an area in the room which will be agreed with the Chairman so as not to intimidate those attending the meeting.

Appendix 1 – Virtual Public Board Meetings

These guidelines have been developed to enable HWW to conduct virtual Public Board Meetings effectively.

1. Technology:

Technology: HWW uses Zoom for meetings which are open to the public (see Appendix 2).

2. Meeting papers and Presentations:

All documents and presentations should be simple and easy to read.

• Page numbers for ease of reference
• Slides/Data should be legible on small devices.

Public Meetings: papers will be published on the HWW website in advance of the meeting.

Where possible and appropriate documents for discussion will be ‘shared’ via the technology.

3. Conducting virtual meetings

The Chair/Organiser (C/O) will join the meeting in advance to ensure the meeting has been set up correctly and to permit participants to enter.

Meetings may only be recorded by HWW (audio and visual) unless permission is given by the C/O.

The meeting should start on time unless there have been any technical issues.

At the start of the meeting the C/O will make sure that everyone is aware of who is present in the meeting and confirm the rules of engagement:

• Everyone will mute themselves unless they are presenting a paper or asking a question.
• The C/O will invite people to speak either by asking them to present their report or answer a question, or by inviting a specific person to ask a question or make a comment.
• Anyone who wishes to speak will use the non-verbal prompt ‘raise hand’ icon or the Chat function. If this is not possible then please raise your hand. If you don’t have a camera and/or have joined the meeting by phone – please let the C/O know and they will try to accommodate you.

4. Public Board Meetings – public access

The C/O will ensure that arrangements have been made for public access to those meetings which are normally held in public in line with local Healthwatch requirements.

Meeting dates and links to join the meeting will be advertised on the HWW website and in the HWW bulletin and those members of the public interested in attending will join the meeting as observers (being muted for the majority of the meeting after introductions).

The C/O will ask for contributions from the Public as per the meeting agenda.

Members of the Public will

• Stay muted unless asked to speak
• Indicate if they have a question or a comment – preferably nonverbally either via technology or physically.

HWW public meetings will be recorded and ‘snapshot’ photographs may be taken – please let the C/O know if you are not happy with this.

Appendix 2. Using Zoom video conferencing

Zoom can be accessed on laptop, desktop computer, phones and tablets. Taking part on a laptop or desktop may be easier in terms of the screen view you will have and size of
screen. If you are taking part on phone or tablet it might be worth downloading the Zoom App.

1. Connecting to the meeting

There will be a link for the meeting – either sent by email or available on the website. When it is time for the meeting – click on this link (or copy the link and post it into your browser).

Alternatively, you can go to and enter the meeting ID and password – which will be available on our website.

If this is the first time you have used Zoom it will ask you to download it. This should happen automatically if you agree when prompted. You don’t need to sign in or have an account to participate.

Once it has downloaded it may appear that nothing is happening – go back to original link (in email or on website) and click on it again.

– You will be asked to enter your name and prompted to click Join Meeting
– It will ask you if you want to Join with video – agree if you are happy to do so
– It will then ask to Join with computer audio – agree to this

Once you have joined the meeting – if using video – adjust screen / camera so your image
is central in the box.

2. During the meeting
To help manage the conversation, we will use the Chat feature to indicate to the Chair – that you want to contribute.

To open Chat:

– Move cursor so that a black tool bar pops up at the bottom of your screen

– Click on Chat icon (speech bubble)

Chat box should appear as a column on the right hand side of your screen.

To send a message via Chat:

– At the bottom of the Chat box, next to To Everyone click on arrow (v)

– Select name of the Chair

– If you want to contribute to the meeting type in box below, where it says Type message here – Check Name

REVIEW BY: September 2023