Investors: Statement of Compliance with the QCA Corporate Governance Code


Everything we do is underpinned by robust and embedded governance which is fundamental to the delivery of our services. Our governance structure ensures that quality and regulatory standards are achieved and maintained. We are passionate about driving continuous improvement and ensuring the delivery of best practice. Our governance structure ensures that all services are planned and delivered in line with the requirements of corporate governance, healthcare regulators, professional bodies and national best practice.

There is no prescribed corporate governance code for AQUIS companies, and the London Stock Exchange prefers to give companies the flexibility to choose from a range of codes which suit their specific stage of development, sector and size.

The Board considers the corporate governance code published by the Quoted Companies Alliance Corporate Governance Code 2018 (‘the QCA Code’) as the most suitable code for the Company and has adopted the principles set out in the QCA Code and applies these principles wherever possible, and where appropriate to its size and available resources.

The Board has overall responsibility for the Corporate Governance of the Company. This Corporate Governance Statement was approved by the Board on 30 September 2021. The QCA Code sets out ten principles which should be applied.

The QCA Code Principles

The principles are listed below with an explanation of how the Company applies each principle, and the reasons for any aspect of non-compliance.

Chairman’s Statement

As a listed company traded on the AQUIS Growth Market, we understand the importance of sound corporate governance and of adopting the principles of good governance across the business. We aim to maintain an efficient and effective management framework that enables long-term, sustainable growth for our shareholders.

As Chairman, I carry the ultimate responsibility for the corporate governance of the Group. In September 2018, the Board has reaffirmed its commitment to good corporate governance by adopting and applying the Quoted Companies Alliance (‘QCA') Corporate Governance Code 2018. The QCA has ten broad principles and we have set out below how we apply these principles to the business.

Last updated: 05 November 2021


Principle One: Establish a strategy and business model which promote long-term value for shareholders

Our Business Model - 

The Group is at the vanguard of advancing cancer care.

We have developed a network of oncology centres across the UK known as the Rutherford Cancer Centres, offering a comprehensive range of cancer treatments to patients.

The first centre in Newport, South Wales, was the first in the UK to offer high-energy proton therapy. In addition, each centre offers radiotherapy, Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapies (‘SACT'), diagnostic imaging and supportive care services.

As well as the Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales, Rutherford Health plc has opened three further centres – the Rutherford Cancer Centre North East in Northumberland, the Rutherford Cancer Centre Thames Valley in Reading, and the Rutherford Cancer Centre North West in Liverpool.

The Group has partnered with world-leading healthcare technology providers to equip each centre with the very latest and innovative technology, including IBA, Philips and Elekta.

We create value for our shareholders through the provision of quality clinical care and by leveraging centralised, scalable infrastructure.

Our Strategy - 

We seek to create sustainable value by becoming the leading provider of proton beam therapy in the UK. Our strategy is to create a ‘high value healthcare business’ through applying ‘value’ to the following:

Patient Value

  • Safety & improved outcomes
  • Earlier return to normality

Company Value

  • Staff motivation & retention
  • Commercial rigour
  • Growth

Shareholder Value

  • Earnings per share
  • Competitive advantage period (value growth duration)

Activities that directly impact our ability to create value for the patient and for the organisation:

High Value Activities

  • Leading to patient safety & improved outcomes
  • Leading to sustainable growth

Value Activities

  • Service enhancements
  • Revenue enhancements

Activities

  • Regulatory activities
  • Compliance with legislation

Principle Two: Seek to understand and meet shareholder needs and expectations

The Group provides up-to-date information to its shareholders through market announcements and copies of all results and announcements are available online at www.rutherfordhealth.com.

The Chief Executive Officer and the Finance Director carry out presentations and meetings to key stakeholders on a regular basis and the Group encourages all shareholders to attend its Annual General Meeting where the Directors are available to answer any shareholder’s questions or concerns.


Principle Three: Take into account wider stakeholder and social responsibilities and their implications for long-term success

The Board recognises that the Group’s long-term success relies on good relations with its wider stakeholders including patients, employees, consultants, strategic partners and suppliers.

Patients – Patient engagement is key to the delivery of high-quality services and the Company ensures that patient feedback is a core part of the patient pathway. Patients have multiple opportunities to raise concerns or suggestions at every part of their patient journey, from their initial Holistic Needs Assessment which not only looks at the individual needs of the patient but looks at the wider support that both the patient and their family may need, through to the patient engagement survey they are invited to complete at the end of their treatment. The Company also recognises the importance of community engagement and endeavours to link in with local support groups at each of its Centres, encouraging specialist patient groups to give feedback on the patient facilities. Many of the Centres also support local initiatives such as local charities who arrange PSA testing for the local community. The analysis of patient feedback is linked to key performance indicators and the output of patient feedback is formally reviewed monthly at local level and centrally through the Senior Management Teams and Governance Committees.

Employees – Employee engagement is underpinned by the Company’s ‘Excellence in Action Model’ which articulates the Company’s core values which set the standards of behaviour to be demonstrated by all employees in order to achieve the Company’s vision and mission. All employees have regular one-to-one sessions with their immediate line manager, and for clinical roles, with their clinical leads. In addition, the appraisal process ensures that objectives and training are set and reviewed annually with six-monthly review meetings. The Company provides multiple channels for employees to voice concerns or raise opportunities for improvement. Such channels include regular team meetings, direct access to open forums where any concerns or suggestions can be made directly to the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, and a GEMs scheme which enables all employees to put forward ideas for improvement in processes or services which carry a monetary reward. In addition to the appraisal and meeting structure, monthly newsletters are distributed to all employees with an introduction from the Chief Executive Officer and an update on the Group activities. The Company’s commitment to the engagement of its employees is demonstrated through its continued certification to the Investors in People Standard.

Consultants – The Company works with a wide range of Consultant Oncologists and Consultant Radiologists under a Practising Privilege licence who refer, report on, and oversee the care of patients attending the cancer Centres. The Company recognises that engagement with its Consultants is key, and dedicated business development teams, clinical leads and centre managers undertake regular engagement with the Consultants. Consultants contribute to the design, governance and monitoring of services through their attendance at, and chairing of, meetings such as the Medical Advisory Committee meetings. In addition, Consultants contribute to the communication of cancer care to healthcare professionals in the local communities by supporting the Company in the delivery of clinical talks and events which provide awareness and information to the healthcare community.

Strategic partners – The strategic partners, namely IBA, Elekta and Philips, provide machines and equipment in the provision of the facilities utilised by the clinical organisation. Each is also a shareholder of the Company. Regular development forums are held, and these are attended by senior management of the Group. In addition, performance measures are discussed.

Suppliers – The Group has identified key suppliers such as the Aquis Corporate Adviser, external auditor, legal adviser and PR consultants. The Group seeks the independent and experienced view of its key advisers on various matters as and when required. The Group values their independence and seeks to establish long-term business relationships to benefit the Group.

Regulators – Part of the Group’s business is the provision of clinical care, which is highly regulated. The Group takes an open and co-operative approach to regulation and positively embraces a safety culture. The Group complies with the requirements of all health and social care legislation applicable to regulated activities. Regular external compliance audits to provide assurance that the Group is meeting the regulatory requirements are arranged.


Principle Four: Embed effective risk management, considering both opportunities and threats throughout the organisation

The Group has a formal risk governance framework that provides a structured process for identifying, evaluating and mitigating risks deemed by the Board as being of significant relevance to the Group in view of its risk profile and risk appetite. The Group considers its extended business, including the Group’s supply chain, from key suppliers to end-customers, in assessing and managing risks to the business. A summary of risks is included in the Strategic Report.

The process seeks to understand and mitigate, rather than eliminate risks and therefore can provide reasonable rather than absolute assurance against loss. The Board regularly reviews a register of principal risks and uncertainties, which is maintained on behalf of the Board by the Finance Director. The risk register is reviewed by the Board on a regular basis and a detailed review is undertaken on at least an annual basis.


Principle Five: Maintain the board as a well-functioning, balanced team led by the chair

Board – The Board consists of five Directors including the Chairman. There are two Executive and three Non-Executive Directors. Mark Jackson, Rupert Lowe and Michael von Bertele are considered independent Non-Executive Directors. The Board is scheduled to meet six times a year and has full and timely access to all the relevant information to enable it to carry out its duties. The Board has access to the Group’s advisers and the Company Secretary to keep up to date with corporate governance matters and to ensure the relevant rules and regulations are followed.

The Board has delegated specific responsibilities to the Audit and Remuneration Committees. Ultimate responsibility for the quality of, and approach to, corporate governance lies with the Chair of the Board.

Audit – The Audit Committee comprises Michael von Bertele (Chair), and Rupert Lowe. It meets at least twice a year and is responsible for ensuring that the financial performance of the Group is properly recorded and monitored on a regular basis. This includes reviews of the annual and interim accounts, results announcements, internal control systems and procedures, and accounting policies. The Audit Committee has responsibility for recommending the appointment of the external auditor. It will review the cost effectiveness, independence, and objectivity of the current auditors.

Remuneration – The Remuneration Committee comprises Michael von Bertele (Chair) and Rupert Lowe. It meets at least twice a year and is responsible for determining the Group’s policy on the remuneration of the Executive Directors. It is also responsible for making any recommendations for the introduction of share option schemes and long-term incentive plans for the Executive Directors.

Attendance – The attendance record by individual Directors at scheduled meetings will be found on page 52 in the Governance Report.


Principle Six: Ensure that between them the Directors have the necessary up-to-date experience, skills and capabilities

The Board has established a skills, diversity and experience matrix which is set out below. This will be periodically reviewed by the Board to ensure this meets current and future requirements.

 

Rupert

Michael

Mark

Karol

Marcus

 

Lowe

von Bertele

Jackson

Sikora

King

Position

NED

NED

NE Chair

CMO

FD

Age

60+

60+

60+

60+

30-40

Gender

M

M

M

M

M

Fast Growth Business

Y

 

Y

 

Healthcare Regulation

 

Y

Y

Y

Healthcare Market

 

Y

Y

Financial Planning

 

Y

 

Y

Risk Management

Y

Y

Y

Listed Board

 

Y

Corporate Finance

 

Y

 

Y

Business Development

 

Y

 

 

The biographies of the Directors can be found here.

 

Principle Seven: Evaluate board performance based on clear and relevant objectives, seeking continuous improvement

The criteria against which Board effectiveness is reviewed are:

  • Board composition
  • Board processes
  • Behaviours, including Executive Director performance and contribution
  • Activities

The Chairman leads the Board evaluation process and where considered appropriate, will use external advisers to ensure the process is robust and fit for purpose.

The Board reviewed the mix of skills on the Board during the year and this resulted in the appointment of the Finance Director to the Board.

Members of the Board are regularly given the opportunity to provide feedback on Board processes, so that adjustments can be agreed as needed.

The Group regularly considers succession planning for the senior management of the Group including the Directors. Potential Board candidates are reviewed by a majority of existing Directors to determine an appropriate match to the skills and experience matrix set out above. Advice on all potential Board appointments is sought from the Group’s AQSE Growth Market Corporate Adviser.


Principle Eight: Promote a corporate culture that is based on ethical values and behaviours

Ethics Policy – As a matter of Board policy and best practice, Directors and management are expected to conduct themselves with the highest ethical standards. All Directors, executives and staff are expected to behave ethically and professionally at all times, to comply with the Ethics Policy and to thereby protect and promote the reputation and performance of the Company. The Board is responsible for establishing compliance and evaluating the effectiveness of the company’s Ethics Policy.

Our Values – All procedures, policies and ways of working across the Group are designed to ensure compliance with the Excellence Model that overrides the ethos of the Group. The Excellence Model contains four pillars:

  • Operational and clinical excellence
  • The patient experience
  • Improving cancer care
  • Advancing proton beam therapy technology

Supporting these pillars is the Company’s ‘Excellence in Action Model’ which, as described previously in this report, articulates the standards of behaviour that all employees and Board members are required to demonstrate.

Both the pillars and the behaviours demonstrate the values which are at the heart of the business. They guide the Company principles and how they deal with patients, employees, strategic partners, suppliers and investors.


Principle Nine: Maintain governance structures and processes that are fit for purpose and support good decision-making by the board

The Governance Framework of meetings and reporting structures supports the Board in ensuring it is able to demonstrate good and effective decision making by ensuring the Board has access to timely and accurate information in relation to the delivery of quality, safe and well-led services. A Corporate Governance Charter is in place which defines the structure of the Board, its agenda items, reporting and oversight functions. The Board reviews this Charter from time to time or as regulation requires or as the Group grows in scale and complexity.

Roles and responsibilities

Chairman – The Chairman is responsible for the leadership and effectiveness of the Board. Together with the Chief Executive Officer, the Chairman sets the Board’s agenda and ensures that all items receive appropriate consideration, especially strategic issues. The Chairman promotes the culture and values of the Group.

Chief Executive Officer – The CEO is responsible for the running of the business and the implementation of Board decisions and policies. The CEO is also responsible for Investor Relations.

Chief Medical Officer – The CMO is responsible for clinical standards and care.

Finance Director – The FD is responsible for the Group’s finances including budgets and forecasts.

The Senior Independent Director – Michael von Bertele is the current Senior Independent Director (‘SID’). His role is to serve as a conduit for Directors who may have concerns that have not been resolved through other channels, to act as a sounding board for the Chairman and CEO on Board matters and to lead the review of the Chairman’s performance.

Non-Executive Directors – The NEDs are appointed to provide oversight, independence and constructive challenge to the Executive Directors. They also provide strategic advice, guidance and a monitoring environment.

Matters reserved for the Board – The following matters are reserved for the Board:

  • The alteration of its memorandum or articles of association or the adoption of any articles or the passing of any resolutions inconsistent with them.
  • Except in the case of a subsidiary undertaking issuing shares to the Company or its nominee, the variation of its authorised or issued share or loan capital or the creation or grant of any option or other rights to subscribe for shares or to convert into shares.
  • The alteration of the rights attaching to any of its shares.
  • The consolidation, subdivision or conversion of any of its shares.
  • The reduction of its share capital or reduction of any uncalled liability in respect of partly paid shares or the purchase or redemption of any of its shares.
  • The issue of debentures, securities convertible into shares, share warrants or options in respect of shares.
  • The issue of any additional Shares or share capital in the Company at a discount to their market value or otherwise than for full value.
  • The declaration or payment of a dividend, other than in accordance with the articles of association of the Company.
  • Unless required to do so by law doing or permitting anything to be done as a result of which the Company may be wound up (whether voluntarily or compulsorily).
  • The creation of a fixed or floating charge, lien (other than a lien arising by operation of law) or other encumbrance over all or part of its undertaking or assets, except to secure it indebtedness to its bankers for sums borrowed in the normal course of business. Any agreement or arrangement concerning any of the foregoing.

Principle Ten: Communicate how the company is governed and is performing by maintaining a dialogue with shareholders and other relevant stakeholders

The Board is committed to good communications with all stakeholders providing them with access to information to help them make informed decisions about the Group.

The Investor Information section of the Group’s website provides access to all required regulatory information. The Directors section provides further details of each Director and the Announcements section details all Group announcements in the last five years. The website also gives information about the Group’s advisers and significant shareholders and Director’s interests. Results of shareholder meetings and votes can also be found here.