Strategic health authorities and the Appointments Commission should work together to ensure new non-executive directors understand what is expected of them, a report into the management of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells trust has concluded.

The report - produced at the Healthcare Commission's request - highlights the need for proper induction and appraisal for non-executives, as well as giving them "a realistic understanding of [their] role".

NHS South East Coast is planning to discuss the recommendations with other strategic health authorities and the Appointments Commission.

Outbreak investigation

The report was prepared after the Healthcare Commission investigation into two C difficile outbreaks at the trust but withheld by South East Coast SHA until police and Health and Safety Executive reviews were completed.

The trust's former chairman "did not challenge the chief executive in an effective way", while the former chief executive "pre-sided over a harsh management environment".

However, the report to the SHA board makes it clear that much has changed at the trust.

See NHS infection control: a clean bill of health