NHS foundation trust seeking governors

SOUTH Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is looking to recruit eleven governors to help influence the development of its health services over the next three years.

Becoming a foundation trust has given South Tees greater freedom to improve services but it has also given local people a bigger say in decisions about their hospitals.

People can show their support for the trust’s hospitals – the James Cook community hospitals and community services in Middlesbrough, and the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton – by signing up as members. Those who want to get more involved can stand as governors to represent the public, patients and staff.

Governors provide an important link between the trust and the community – helping the trust to gather views from local people and feeding back to them what is happening.

The job requires some time and commitment and an interest in the NHS and the key issues facing the trust. Responsibilities include supporting the recruitment of members, attending council of governor meetings four times a year, and advising the board of directors on a range of issues.

Governors serve a term of three years, after which they can be re-elected, and an election is being held in March to appoint eleven governors to represent the public, patients and staff. Members can stand for the following seats:

lRedcar and Cleveland – three seats;

lHambleton and Richmondshire – four seats;

lMiddlesbrough – two seats;

lRest of England – one seat;

lStaff – one seat.

Trust chairman Deborah Jenkins said: “South Tees has now been an NHS Foundation Trust for almost three years and during that time the governors who represent our members have made a significant contribution to the development of the trust.

“Any member in each of the areas can stand for election – all you need is a real interest in the trust and a little spare time to help influence the continued development of our important local services.”

Letters have been sent to more than 5,500 patient and public members and around 8,000 staff members inviting them to stand as governors. Nominations must be made by Friday, February 10. A full list of candidates will be available on the trust’s website at www.southtees.nhs.uk from Monday, February 13.

The elections, which are run by the Electoral Reform Services, will be a secret postal ballot and voting packs will be sent out to members on Thursday, March 1. Members can only vote for governors who represent their constituency. The closing date for votes is Wednesday, March 21.

For more information on becoming a member or a governor visit www.southtees.nhs.uk or contact the Foundation Trust office on 01642 835616. To be eligible to vote in this election you will need to have joined as a member by Friday, February 10.