Not very much it seems:
Researchers from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators analysed the agendas of every NHS trust in England between January and March this year. They found the vast majority of items had no action attached to them, with a tiny fraction explicitly marked “for decision”, ranging from 0.2 per cent in care trusts to 2.1 per cent in primary care trusts.
We spend a great deal of money on these boards - providing administration, paying non-executive directors and publishing worthy documents. However, I seems that we could probably do without them, couldn't we?
And boards are supposed to be strategic are they not?
For example, while 81 per cent of respondents believed their board achieved the appropriate split between strategic and operational issues – in line with governance guidance suggesting 60 per cent of time should be spent on strategic issues – in reality only 10 per cent of agenda items looked at strategic issues.
Seems to me that these board members - expensively recruited non-executive chairs and so on included - simply aren't up to the job.