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Elections to the Council of Governors at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust


Elections to the Council of Governors at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust 

The role of the council  is important - they ensure that the views of our wider community are taken into account in providing and developing our services. 
  
Elections to the Council of Governors take place on an annual basis in the relevant constituencies and are held between July and October each year.
  
Please note that individuals standing for Governor must be a member of the Foundation Trust in order to stand for election and, to register as a member, please complete the membership form. 
 
Please visit the following website for information about the current Governor elections: www.cesvotes.com/stockport2021
 
Membership & Governors Engagement

To ensure compliance with the Monitor Code of Governance, Foundation Trusts should have in place a strategy for governor engagement. The Trust must ensure that governors have sufficient information and resources available to enable them to fulfil their statutory responsibilities. The Trust must also foster a relationship of openness and transparency. It is important that the governors and the organisation have a mutual sense of responsibility and that governors feel a unique sense of belonging to the organisation.

Governor role and statutory responsibilities

The specific statutory powers and duties of the Council of Governors are to:

  • Appoint and, if appropriate, remove the Chair and or other non-executive directors;
  • Decide the remuneration and allowances, and the other terms and conditions of office, of the Chair and the other non-executive directors;
  • Approve the appointment of the Chief Executive;
  • Appoint and, if appropriate, remove the NHS foundation trust’s auditor; and
  • Receive the NHS foundation trust’s annual accounts, any report of the auditor on them and the annual report.

In addition, in preparing the Trust’s forward plan, the Board of Directors must have regard to the views of the governors.

Engagement with Board of Directors

The relationship between the Council of Governors and Board of Directors is critical and there are a number of ways an open and constructive relationship can be achieved between the two.  Board members and governors should have the opportunity to meet at regular intervals and governors should feel comfortable asking questions regarding the management of the Trust. Governors should also be aware of key Board decisions and how they affect the Trust and the wider community.  Governors are provided with the agenda and minutes of Board meetings.  Governors are also invited to attend Board meetings.

Executive and senior management appointments

One of the core elements of the Governor role is the appointment of the Chair and Non Executives. Monitor advises that interview panels for Non Executive Directors consists of a majority of governors.

Annual Planning and Quality Accounts

Governors have a role in influencing the strategic direction of the Trust by being involved in the Annual Planning Process. Governors must also be able to assure themselves that the Trust Board is actively monitoring and improving the quality of the services we provide and to do so are involved in the development of the Trust’s Quality Reporting framework. 

Additional ways of achieving this might be:

  • Use of development sessions to hold strategic planning events with both bodies present
  • Governors presenting priorities to the Board of Directors
  • Board of Directors providing governors with their planning intentions and asking the governors to rank the strategic initiatives by importance
Information

The Trust must ensure governors are provided with the information they need to carry out their duties. This will include external information being produced by Monitor and other external NHS organisations and internal information provided by the Trust.

Potential ways this could be achieved

  • Trust to ensure that all documentation (including guidance, publications and other correspondence) relevant to governors will be communicated.
  • Trust to maintain membership of all relevant networks.
Engagement with membership

The Trust Board will work with governors to ensure that the Trust membership is kept fully informed about the services the Trust provides, the activities of the Council of Governors and its role in representing the views of the membership and the wider community.   This will include organising events, enhancing technological capabilities and making use of external and internal communications. The Trust will work with the Membership subgroup of the Council of Governors to develop the Membership strategy.

Available resources

Governors should have access to the required resources. This will include a single point of contact for governors who will handle queries, appointments, meeting dates, requests for information, travel booking and any other administrative functions. Governors will have access to support from the Company Secretary. 

© Stockport NHS Foundation Trust 2021. Stepping Hill Hospital, Poplar Grove, Stockport, SK2 7JE. 0161 483 1010