Council of Governors

The Council of Governors, collectively, is the body that provides local accountability to the Trust’s service users, carers, staff, stakeholders and the wider public. The Council consists of 30 individuals, made up of both appointed and elected governors.

The concept of an NHS foundation Trust rests on local accountability, which governors perform a pivotal role in providing. The governors represent the interests of members of the Trust as a whole and the interests of the public, contributing to the future direction of our Trust; holding the non-executive directors (collectively and individually) to account for the way our Board of Directors performs. The Council of Governors shares information and key decisions with foundation trust members.

A diagram that explains how governors hold the organisation to account and represent the interests of staff and the public.

Who makes up our Council of Governors?

The Trust has 30 governor seats over four constituencies:

Public Governors
There are eight seats available for public governors on our Council of Governors. Public governors provide local accountability and help to increase the involvement of the general public.

Service User and Carer Governors
There are ten seats available for service user and carer governors on our Council of Governors. Service user and carer governors have a personal understanding of issues and bring a valuable perspective when representing the views of other service users and carers.

Staff Governors
There are six seats available for staff governors on our Council of Governors. Staff governors bring a staff member viewpoint to the discussion and have the opportunity to provide information from the staff’s perspective.

Appointed Governors
Our appointed governors are from a pre-defined list of partner organisations (which must include the local authorities in which we provide our services).There are six seats available for appointed governors on our Council of Governors. Appointed governors bring the perspective of our partners and ensure they are informed of our plans.

What is the role of a governor?

The role of a governor is very important, it is to:

    • Provide a link between the Board of Directors and the local community.
    • Influence the forward/strategic plans of the Trust.
    • Hold the non-executive directors individually and collectively to account for the performance of the Board.
    • Appoint or remove the Chair and the other non-executive directors.
    • Approve the appointment of the Chief Executive.
    • Decide who will be the Trust’s auditor.


How can I become a governor?

To stand for election to be a governor you must first be a member of our Trust within a valid constituency. You can find out more on how to become a member of the Trust by visiting our Membership page. Elections are run on our behalf by an election company. As a member you will automatically be informed when elections are to be held and given the chance to vote or stand for election (if your constituency has a vacancy). Members choose governors to represent them on the Council of Governors.

To find out more on how you can become a governor, please visit the become a governor page.

How can I hear about the work of the Council of Governors?

One way in which you can hear about the work of the Council of Governors is to join us at our Annual Members Day held in July. Our Lead Governor delivers a presentation about the work of the Council of Governors over the year.

Members of the Trust and members of the public are welcome to attend our public Council of Governors meetings which are held four times per year.

A message from Merran McRae
Chair of the Trust

The role of a Governor is an important one, providing a direct link between the Trust and local communities, staff and key partner organisations. As a Governor, you will represent the interests of your constituency, staff group or partner organisation.

“In addition, as part of the Council of Governors, you will receive information from the Trust to enable you to seek assurance from the non-executive directors and account for the performance of the Board.

“You will have the opportunity to work with the Board of Directors to help shape the Trust’s plans for the future and therefore be directly involved in achieving the vision of providing outstanding mental health and learning disability services as an employer of choice.”