My name is Mike and I have been a volunteer at Rosewood Involvement Centre for just over three years now.
Currently, my main role as a Trust volunteer is in my capacity as a Public Governor. I was elected by the Trust membership of Nottinghamshire County at the beginning of 2016 for a three-year term. I sit on the Council of Governors, a body whose role is to gain assurance on behalf of the membership and the public, with regard to the organisation’s performance and with a particular focus on service quality.
Feedback has revealed that, nationwide, people generally do not know about NHS Councils of Governors (all Foundation Trusts have one, as they are a legal requirement). My hope is that this blog posting will help shed light on what role we play.
There are 37 governors on the Council, representing a wide spectrum of geographic areas and demographics. The exact makeup is as follows:
- 21 Public, Patient and Carer Governors, representing Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire County, South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw and the rest of England and Wales.
- 8 elected Staff Governors.
- 8 appointed Partner Governors, representing academic, business and charity links which make up the Trust’s network of partners in delivering care.
Being a governor really is what you make of it. There are endless opportunities to get involved; these include site inspections, asking questions about financial, staff and partnership issues. I very much value the opportunity to attend meetings on a wide range of subjects. My particular areas of interest are finance, staff and patient wellbeing, and development of the governor-public relationship.
We have four main Council of Governors meetings a year, in January, April, July and October of each year. These meetings include the Trust Board and Non-Executive Directors. In addition to this, we also have monthly meetings on a range of pre-agreed topics, replacing the former subcommittees which covered areas including Finance, Membership and Quality & Innovation.
By the time of publication, I will have undertaken my first site inspection as a governor, at Wathwood Hospital. I very much look forward to this experience and hope to learn more about the Trust’s work in secure settings.
My weekly visit to Rosewood allows me to feed back to patients, carers and the general public. I would like, however, to expand these opportunities and meet with a wider range of people. I plan to undertake these “governor surgeries” in the near future, and will definitely keep everyone informed!
Further information about the Council of Governors, as well as a list of Governor representatives, can be found here: https://www.nottinghamshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/council-of-governors