Statutory guidance

NHS foundation trusts: accounting officer’s responsibilities

Role and responsibilities of an NHS foundation trust accounting officer.



The NHS Act 2006 designates the chief executive of an NHS foundation trust as the accounting officer.

This memorandum sets out the role and responsibiliites of an NHS foundation trust accounting officer.

August 2015 updates

We explained in the June 2015 consultation on the risk assessment framework that we also intended to update the accounting officer memorandum to strengthen the requirement to consider value for money. After considering the responses we have made the following updates:

Updating paragraph 7 to set out that the accounting officer must ensure:

  • the foundation trust delivers efficient and economical conduct of its business and safeguards financial propriety and regularity throughout the organisation
  • financial considerations are fully taken into account in decisions taken by the foundation trust.

Updating paragraph 8 to reference the accounting officer’s duty to deliver prudent and economical administration in line with the principles set out in ‘Managing public money’.