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What is a governor?

As a governor you will play a very important role in the Trust. You will represent members and act as an ambassador for both the Trust and the membership. You will help us make sure that the views of members are heard.

You will have a number of key responsibilities, such as: 

  • holding the Non-Executive Directors to account for the performance of the Board
  • ensuring the trust is accountable to local people
  • recruiting and developing members
  • appointing or removing the Chairman and Non-Executive Directors

An effective council of governors is crucial to the success of the Trust and we will help you develop the skills you need to carry out your role as governor.

What will my responsibilities be as a governor?

  1. To discuss strategic plans and new developments.
  2. To share information about key decisions with other NHS Foundation Trust members.
  3. To develop membership and represent the interests of members
  4. To appoint the Chairman and Non-Executive Directors
  5. To set the pay levels for the Chairman and Non-Executive Directors.
  6. To receive the Foundation Trust annual report and accounts.
  7. To agree any constitutional changes

What will being a governor mean?
The areas you would be involved with as a governor include:

  1. Communication: The governors will engage with members and the Trust Board to receive views and pass on information.
  2. Recruitment: You would also be involved in recruiting new members to make sure that our membership reflects our local communities – in terms of age, gender, ethnic background and interest in services.
  3. Governance: Acting as the guardian of the local NHS on behalf of the public. As a governor you will need to make time available to attend meetings, talk to members and to work with non-executive directors.

Will I get paid?
Under the regulations governing all foundation trusts, governors are only paid expenses.

Do I need any special skills or experience?
You do not need any particular skills or experience but a passion for making NHS services better, and for involving a wide range of people will help you enormously. The governors elected will be supported by staff from within the Trust who are experienced in public involvement and communication.
You will also be working alongside other elected governors and governors appointed by local councils and other parts of the community.

How will the elections be run?
We have appointed Electoral Reform Services (ERS) to run our elections for us. As well as making sure that we follow a robust process, it also means that the elections are independent of our Trust.
We will give notice of election and invite any nominees (people who wish to stand as governors) to register their interest. Anyone putting themselves forward will be asked to answer the same simple few questions. This information will be included on our website, and on the voting papers which ERS will send to all members. Once the closing date is reached ERS will count the votes and let us know who has been elected. We will then announce the results publicly.

Will support be available?
We are happy to discuss possible training or support that you may need to help you stand as a governor, or to fulfill the role should you be elected.

How much time is needed to fulfill the role of a being a Governor?
A governor is expected to attend the Public Council of Governor Meetings (the expectation is that you will attend at least 3 in one year) and the Annual Members Meeting. All meetings are usually held in the Education Centre at the Hospital. Time will also be required to read papers provided for each meeting. Additionally attendance at induction and training events will be required.

How long will my appointment last?
Unless due to a casual vacancy, an appointment as a governor will be for a three year term, up to a maximum of 9 years.

Are there rules I have to follow? How will I know if I’m doing it right?
We will give you training and support to be an effective governor.

More information

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