Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust on hunt for public governors to hold NHS bosses to account

Members of the public are being invited to become a governor and help hold NHS health bosses to account.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 11:38 am
12th March 2019 Harroagte Stock Harrogate and District Hospital Pictured Gerard Binks

The Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust is looking for applications ahead of its upcoming governor elections.

Governors are broken up into two categories - staff governors and public governors. Both hold the same responsibilities.

There are public vacancies for the Knaresborough and East District, the Rest of North Yorkshire and York, the Ripon and West District and the Rest of England. There is also a vacancy for one ‘other clinical’ staff member.

The role of a governor involves holding the trust’s Non-Executive Directors to account for the performance of the Board of Directors. They play a vital role in shaping the future direction of the trust and the services provided to local communities.

Doug Masterton, who has been a public governor for three years, lives in Harewood and is a member of Harewood Parish Council. Before retirement he worked as a teacher of physics, a local authority Education Adviser in Leeds and as a school inspector, both for OFSTED throughout England and for the Church of England in local dioceses.

Mr Masterton said: “There is a great deal of satisfaction in making a useful contribution to the community, to the NHS. Harrogate trust works to be extremely open and transparent. The meetings between directors and non executive members are fascinating to watch and it is reassuring to see questions being asked of the directors and the scrutiny of management.”

Successful candidates will be required to attend and prepare for around four meetings a year. There is also the opportunity to be part of committees and sub committees. Full training will be given and each new governor will be assigned a buddy to support them through the first year.

Governor Claire Illingworth is the Sterile Services Manager for Harrogate Integrated Facilities (HIF), the wholly owned subsidiary of the trust. She has been working in Sterile Services since 2005, and was elected as Staff Governor in 2017. She was then nominated as Stakeholder Governor when her role was transferred to Harrogate Integrated Facilities.

Claire said: “All sorts of people can be a governor, they are elected by our members and bring a variety of experiences and abilities to the table. All we are hoping for is people who are conscientious, who want to contribute, who aren’t afraid to ask questions and who can do so respectfully.”

If you are interested in standing, more information, a nomination form and eligibility criteria can be obtained online at: www.cesvotes.com/hdft2021.

Governors must be Foundation Trust Members. Sign up for free today at: www.hdft.nhs.uk/about/membership.

Doug said he would encourage people to sign up as a member regardless of whether they want to stand, as members can elect governors and be part of the community.

Claire added: “There are a lot of benefits to being a member such as being invited to special events and shop discounts.”

The deadline for applications is 5pm on July 20.