Council of Governors
Governors are an essential part of the structure that make up a NHS foundation trust.
They are the elected and appointed representatives of staff, the
public and local stakeholders who bring a lay perspective to
the governance of the foundation trust. Southend University
Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has 32 governors in total across
Essex who comprise public, worker and partnership governors.
The elected governors each serve a maximum of two terms of three
years. The Trust has had a council of governors in place since it
became a foundation trust in 2006.
To contact a governor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
with your enquiry, remembering to name the governor or constituency
who you are trying to contact.
Your chance to help shape hospital services
Most people living in south-east Essex are likely to need the
services of Southend University Hospital at some time in their
lives. Now they and you are being offered the chance of playing an
important role in the Trust by standing for election as a
Foundation Trust governor. Anyone who is a member of the Foundation
Trust can become a public governor - whether you are a current or
former patient, a relative or supporter of the hospital you are
invited to stand in our governor elections.
The governor role includes appointing the Trust Chairman (also
Chair of governors) and non-executive directors, approving the
appointment of the chief executive and appointing external
auditors. The introduction of the Health and Social Care Act 2012
has given foundation trust governors additional responsibilities
and powers. Under the Act, governors must now hold the
non-executive directors to account over the performance of the
board of directors, approve mergers and acquisitions, and
approve any proposal to increase the proportion of Trust income
(+5%) attributable to activities other than provision of goods and
services for the purposes of the health service. They also
approve constitutional changes, which may require approval by trust
members too. Governors are also now expected to represent the
interests of foundation trust members and the interests of the
wider public in the area the trust serves.
The Council of Governors is the collective body that forms half
of a critical partnership with the board of directors. The
effective governance of the foundation trust depends on the
relationship between the council of governors and board of
directors working well. Getting the balance right is not
always easy to achieve. However, an essential starting point
is a mutual understanding of each other's roles and
responsibilities. The board of directors needs to understand
that the governors must have some latitude in carrying out their
duties and in representing the interests of members and the public
so that they can influence the strategic direction of the
Trust. However, the council does not manage the day to day
operations of the trust, neither does it manage the business of the
Trust - this is the role of the board of directors.
To assist the Council carry out its role effectively, it has
established a number of sub committees which enable it to consider
certain aspects of its work in more detail. These include the
Strategy and Governance Group
This Governance Committee meets to discuss a wide range of
governance matters and advises the council of governors
accordingly. Topics considered include surveys of Governors
conducted by organisations such as Monitor and the Foundation Trust
Network, the Council of governors' self-assessment, Governor
elections and nominations for honours and hospital awards. The
Committee makes recommendations on the appointment or removal of
the Trust's external auditors taking into account the views of the
Directors' Audit Committee. It also monitors the application of the
Constitution and reviews the wording of the Governors' Code of
Conduct to ensure that it continues to be appropriate.
In accordance with the constitution, the Board of Directors is
required to take into account the views of the council of governors
on the Trust's forward planning, views which the council has formed
through extensive engagement with members and the public. On behalf
of the council of governors, the Strategy Group considers these
forward planning and strategic issues and makes
Membership Engagement and Recruitment Group
This group includes the Editorial Advisory Board and looks at
ways of communicating and engaging with members of the Foundation
Trust and encouraging patients, carers and members of the public to
join the Trust. It is also the group which networks with other
Foundation Trusts and monitors and receives reports from the
Foundation Trust Network before consideration by the Council of
Governors. Another activity controlled is the production and
distribution of the governors' newsletter the FuTure.
The group also reviews the education and training of the Trust's
workforce and also the education and training needs of governors to
enable them to fulfil their role as fully as possible, and makes
recommendations to the council of governors.
NEDs and Governors' Group
Whilst the health service moves towards a new regime and
Governors are presented with extra duties, it was considered
prudent to create this Group so that both Governors and NEDs can
discuss issues that are important to each other.
Increasingly, Governors will seek assurance from the Board of
Directors - but particularly NEDs - as to the Trust's performance
and strategies, and will seek to ensure that their views are being
considered. This Group provides that forum.
Patient and Carer Experience Group
This Group consider how the Trust meets the healthcare needs of
the people served by the Trust. It participates in projects to
obtain the views of patients and receives information about
hospital services directly from patients and nursing staff, amongst
other sources. In addition to reviewing the wider needs of
patients it also considers how the hospital provides services to
specific groups such as children and younger persons, and older
Search and Appointments Committee
The Council of governors is responsible for appointing the
Chairman and non-executive directors. This Committee reviews the
structure, size and composition of the Board of Directors, gives
full consideration to succession planning for the Chairman and
other non-executive directors, identifies and nominates suitable
candidates and reviews the remuneration and allowances and other
terms and conditions of office. The Committee makes recommendations
to the Council of governors regarding Chairman and other
non-executive directors appointments.
Worker Governors' Group
Worker Governors meet to discuss how they may engage with their
members, and have attended various departmental team meetings.