Become a Governor

A Message from the Lead Governor

"When I am encouraging people to become members of Medway NHS Foundation Trust, they want to know, 'What do we have to do?' The plain answer is – to have a voice in the planning and provision of services in the hospital. Membership is free and regularly throughout the year, there are excellent presentations from consultants on the latest innovations in healthcare. Members can put themselves forward as Governors by informing the Governors and Members Office of their interest on 01634 825292.

"The next question put to me is, 'What do the Governors do?' The principal tasks of Governors are twofold, to hold the Non-Executive Directors, individually and collectively, to account for the performance of the Board; and to represent the views of the members and the local community. To fulfil these tasks, the Non-Executives attend Council of Governors meetings four times a year to give an account of the work they have been doing in the Trust.

"Governors also attend several committees chaired by the Non-Executives as attendees or observers to gain assurance on the work of the Board in quality, finance and on relations with the community. Governors also seek to hear the views of patients and members at ‘Meet the Governors’ sessions held in the hospitals of Medway, Sittingbourne and Sheppey with tea, coffee and biscuits on hand to help the conversation flow.

"2016 was interesting year in Medway, with many changes to working practices in the hospital to speed patients’ recovery; developments in the Emergency Department with specific areas for children and the elderly, and the introduction of ‘smoke free’ throughout the hospital site. All these have brought benefits to patients and staff. 2017 sees the completion of a whole new expanded Emergency Department and the introduction of new health information technology systems. We are constantly aiming to provide the best service for all patients."

Stella A. Dick 

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.