Become a governor

Our governors sit on a Council of Governors, which meets four times each year and plays an important part in the decision-making process of the Trust.

They lend their individual skills and knowledge at council level. Because they can be patients, students, national and local residents this is particularly important as it means that the voice of the local community can be heard right at the top of the decision-making process.

Being a governor also means you can develop your skills in a number of different areas. You do not need any specific qualifications or experience to become a governor, you just need enthusiasm and the wish to improve mental health services.

Governors are elected from the membership every 3 years.  All members are contacted and are asked to put themselves forward so if you want to become a governor the first step is to become a member!

What kinds of things do our governors do?

Our governors cover a wide range of activity, often dependent on their particular skills and interests. Many sit on internal committees. We have governor representation on our public and patient involvement committee - often governors who are the parents of our patients are interested in this committee where they can share their views and their children’s views about our services. We also have governor representation on our communications committee, where we make strategic decisions about our communications, for example our patient information, newsletters and website.

How have our governors made a difference so far?

Our governors have played vital roles in a number of areas of our work. Having governors sit on our internal committees has proved invaluable as they have brought their varied portfolio of skills and interests.

Some of the areas governors have made contributions include:

  • Public and patient involvement - Some of our governors sit on the public and patient involvement committee and bring with them an added external perspective. Our governors are currently contributing to the young people’s agenda and helping us to think about how to engage more effectively with children and young people. As one of our governors is the parent of a young service user seen by our child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) this brings a vital perspective to this strand of work.
  • Membership engagement - Our governors hold meetings and attend events such as the annual public meeting where they are available to talk with members outside of the formality of the council meetings to find out what concerns them. This provides an essential link between our members and our decision making processes. A governor also sits on the editorial board for the members’ newsletter.
  • Communications - We have governor representation on our communications committee, which is responsible for overseeing a number of communications activities including the production of patient information, the website and our media presence.
  • Design - Our governors have also contributed to thinking within the trust around design, including the actual building and its art. They have assisted in the new project to refurbish the reception area and in a wider piece of work to improve the overall building and its internal and external spaces.
  • Equalities - Ensuring we meet the needs of all communities is of great importance to us. We are working with our governors to ensure we achieve success in equity and fairness for everyone.
  • General governance - Our governors have been instrumental in setting up online appraisal mechanisms for the Trust Chair, and were involved in the appointment of our Chief Executive. They have also contributed to the quality agenda, risk management, the accounts process and more.

Ultimately our governors have been vital in bringing both an internal and external perspective to our decision making which helps us to be mindful of the external environment and its pressures and demands.