Become a Governor

A Message from the Lead Governor

The Council of Governors is made up of a combination of Public, Partner and Staff Governors. The Public Governors are elected by members from the constituencies that the Trust serves, with representation from Medway, Swale and the rest of England & Wales.  Partner Governors are appointed by the bodies they represent – these include charities, local councils and local universities.  Finally Staff Governors are elected by staff within the Trust. Together we work as volunteers to further the aims of the Trust, we represent the views of members and the local community and also hold the Non-Executive Directors to account for the performance of the Board.

To do this effectively we undertake various activities:

  • Meet as a full Council in public four times a year.
  • Attend many Trust meetings, with Governors attending or observing a variety of Committees and Interest Groups including Finance, Quality Assurance, Charitable Funds Committee, Equality and Diversity Group and Patient Experience Group amongst others.
  • We hold regular public coffee mornings and engagement sessions where members of the public have the opportunity to raise any questions with Governors, and throughout the year we hold member events for all members to attend which include themed presentations and workshops and are an opportunity to meet staff and hear what is happening in the Trust. This is your opportunity to raise any questions and let them have your views. We also organise recruitment stands to encourage more people to become members and get involved.

We are in a period of extremely challenging times for the Trust and the NHS as a whole and I would encourage you to become a member and to get involved in supporting the Trust at this time. We have seen great improvements in safety and quality over the last couple of years including exiting special measures in March 2017, and the opening of the new improved Emergency Department, but the backdrop is one of very difficult financial circumstances. All of us who are involved in the Trust are working hard to improve this situation without compromising on the great progress that has been made.

Alastair Harding

Governors' role and responsibilities

The key role of Governors, while representing the interests of their constituencies, is to ensure the Board fulfils the requirements of NHSI - the Trust’s independent regulator - and acts in accordance with the Trust’s stated objectives. The Council of Governors acts in an advisory capacity and by doing so, contributes to the strategic direction of the Trust. The operational management and decision-making however remains with the Trust Board.

The following duties are the broad responsibility of the governors:

  • appointing and removing the chair and non-executive directors
  • approving the appointment of future Trust chief executives
  • approving and removing the Trust’s external auditor
  • approving the Trust’s annual accounts, auditors report and annual report
  • setting non-executive directors remuneration and allowances
  • being consulted on the development of future plans for the Trust and of any significant changes to the way services are provided
  • representing the view of their constituencies

Governors are expected to adhere to the Trust’s Code of Conduct and attend meetings of the Council of Governors which take place six times a year. Governors are also expected to attend the Annual General Meeting and any other meetings identified by the Council.

What is asked of you as a Governor?

Governors are elected by trust members for a term of three years to the Medway, Swale or Rest of England and Wales constituency, of which they need to reside. They can stand for re-election once (giving a total length of service of six years) and are asked to commit eight to ten hours a month to their role.

How to become a Governor

If you are interested in becoming a Governor, please contact the Membership Office. When the election process begins, you will receive the information you need to put your application forward.