Governor Focus Showcase finalists

Our Governor Focus Showcase provides an excellent opportunity for trusts to highlight best practice and the work undertaken by councils of governors from across the country. Following a rigorous judging process, successful applicants are invited to exhibit at our event and to network with their peers. Please see below for examples of previous successful showcase applicants.

Find out more about our Governor Focus conference here.


Now in its seventh year, this is the first-year showcase was back to being face-to-face (as an exhibition) since 2019. The showcase is an excellent networking opportunity for governors to engage with their peers, share and learn good practises.

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Jack Wilson has accessed mental health services since the early age of 12, receiving care and treatment in Children and Young People’s (CYPs). An opportunity arose to nominate himself as a governor for the CYPS constituency and Jack held this role for six years. 

As a governor for Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust , Jack built confidence, personally and professionally, chairing meetings of the council of governors and being invaluable member of the council by building trusting relationships with governors, the board of directors, and services. He provided mentorship to new governors and others within the trust to enable staff to ‘see life through the lens of a service user’.

Because of the relationships, skills, and expertise Jack built during his role as a governor, he applied for a business apprenticeship and was accepted within the corporate affairs team, a team he helped build and shape during his time as a governor. Using his knowledge and experience gained as a governor, Jack quickly progressed in his apprenticeship role through to full-time employment with the trust as a corporate engagement assistant. 

Jack is a shining example of the power and positive influence of people with ‘lived experience’ and the foundation of the purpose and value that governors bring to foundation trusts. Because of this, Jack has fundamentally improved, and continues to improve, how the organisation not only engages with trust members and local communities, but truly ‘involves’ people in how we, as a trust, develop our plans and services for the future. Particularly from seldom heard groups such as children and young people, and the LGBT+ community. 

Improvements that Jack has made includes, involving people with lived experience of services, and engaging with them in a compassionate, respectful way. Understanding some of the barriers which often prevent people with mental health issues from putting themselves forward for being a governor, or even having a voice. Jack has transformed the way we communicate with communities to make information about services accessible and understandable.

Jack has progressed from a young person, having experienced significant trauma, to a governor who built a community of followership and support, to an Apprentice to develop his own learning, to the person responsible for how we engage with people on a cellular level. He has inspired others to be the best they can be, despite the barriers facing them and is a shining example of the potential and value of NHS governors.

View the showcase poster.


Further information

East London NHS Foundation Trust

This showcase outlines the importance of and work to keep the council of governors informed, involved and engaged in this critical appointment so informed decisions could be made on the recruitment to a joint chair with North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT).

Prior to the final decision groundwork had been laid with two years’ engagement by the council with the developing integrated care systems, the benefits for service users and our wider population of working collaboratively and what this new structure might mean for the governor role.

Governors had invited both chairs of our two ICSs to their meeting to cover ‘the voice of the public and role of governors at the ICS’ to develop a clear understanding on the duty to collaborate and the resultant benefits. A governor development session on ICS public accountability was also held.

These approaches together with more in-depth discussions at the council’s Significant Business and Strategy Committee meant governors were well prepared for this crucial decision. Governors’ rationale in deciding to recruit a joint chair focused on:

  • The benefits of increased collaboration for service users and our wider population when previous artificial competition hasn’t benefitted them.
  • Already existing evidence for improvement in outcomes.
  • Single and visible leadership for community and mental health across North East London and more widely on a national stage.
  • And to meet the duty of collaboration as set out in Health and Care Act 2022.


At ELFT, openness, transparency and collaboration was further demonstrated by:

  • The Board holding an online meeting with governors outlining their rationale for recruiting a joint chair with NELFT.
  • In response, in comprehensive discussion the Council identified its own key lines of enquiry (KLOE) as a framework which the Board was asked to respond to before the governor decision-making meeting. Questions included:
    • What will be the benefits for service user – what is the case for change?
    • What are the benefits of having a joint chair in general, and specifically one with NELFT?
    • What are the reflections from the previous chair recruitment process, what have we learnt?
    • What are the challenges the new role will face, e.g. time commitment, large geography, etc.
    • How will working in the Integrated Care Systems impact on the new role as opposed to a single chair?
    • What synergy is required?
    • What are the conditions for success?
  • Governors sought additional assurance on issues including the trust’s continued commitment to Bedfordshire and Luton.
  • The Board responded with a detailed options appraisal report, identifying the benefits and risks of each option and providing responses and assurance on each KLOE.
  • Based on this response and further discussions, the council subsequently approved the recruitment to a joint chair based on clear benefits for our service users.


Keeping governors informed and engaged was crucial to ensure effective collaboration between two trusts and councils with different cultures and ways of working, which resulted in the successful appointment of a joint chair.

During the ‘hiatus’ between advertising/shortlisting/interviews and stakeholder groups:

  • Regular timely summary reports of key discussions and decisions made by the interview panel shared with all joint Nominations Committee members. These were in addition to the formal minutes and were shared shortly after each meeting with a focus on key decisions taken.
  • Governor briefings sessions were arranged with:
  • Representatives from the appointed recruitment agency to offer assurance around the integrity of the sophisticated and robust selection process.
  • The outgoing trust chair on the role of a chair in the new systems landscape, with a special focus on the role of a joint chair.
  • The trust chief executive, focusing on the importance of the relationship between CEO and chair, and the difference between both roles.
  • The chair of the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICS on the importance of a joint chair in the ICS context.
  • The trust’s senior independent director who co-chaired the joint nomco to draw together all discussions in a final summary session.
  • Sharing of summary reports from each session with all governors, especially important for those not able to attend or who were newly elected.
  • Joint nomco members not on the interview panel were invited to observe the interview panel decision-making discussion following the interviews to gain added assurance about the robustness of the process prior to receiving the recommendation to appoint.
  • The council also received a very detailed paper in time for the decision-making process which provided a comprehensive summary of the robust process that had been followed to arrive at the appointment recommendation the council was due to receive.


“The ongoing support and regular timely information sharing with governors on the benefits of system working and collaboration helped shape the council’s rationale for agreeing to the recruitment of a joint chair, seizing the opportunity that presented itself. The ongoing engagement and communication helped us to remain focused on this and the benefits to our populations like a golden thread through the recruitment process and led to governors feeling assured about the rationale and process when they agreed the recommendation to appoint our joint chair."
Caroline Ogunsola, Lead Governor, East London NHS Foundation Trust


View the showcase poster.

Key lines of enquiry.

Further information

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is a twice rated CQC ‘Outstanding’ specialist hospital. One of the trust’s key strategic objectives is to improve population health and address inequalities. The council of governors supports the delivery of this specific strategy objective through the ongoing work and commitment of its Membership and Communications Sub Committee. The sub committee is chaired by a public governor and attended by governors providing representation from a range of geographical constituencies and staff groups. All events organised by the sub committee, within the membership communications, recruitment and engagement plan, are organised with the key aims in mind:


  • To improve population health by sharing important health messages.
  • To provide opportunities for governors to engage supporting their statutory duty to represent members and public.
  • To promote, attract and retain foundation trust membership.


Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the way the sub committee has implemented this plan has changed. Virtual events have enabled health talks to become more accessible for foundation trust members, patients and public regardless of their geographical location. To run in tandem with these virtual events, governors from the group have also been proactive in seeking opportunities for key talks in the community.   

For example, the sub committee supported Marine Football Club in November 2021 and 2022 with facilitation of life-saving CPR and defibrillator sessions for the benefit of staff, stewards, volunteers and local businesses. The sessions were led by staff governor - registered and non registered nurses, who has clinical skills to deliver the sessions, and achieved the above outlined aims.

More recently, the sub committee is proud to support the hospital with cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and addressing the health inequalities of women. A health talk opportunity was initiated proactively by a public governor/deputy chair of the sub committee to the Women’s Institute. Critical CVD prevention messages were taken home by the 60 attendees and shared with families and friends. Quick health checks e.g blood pressure were also provided to attendees. The session provided the opportunity for governors to engage with the wider public and to promote and recruit new foundation trust members. 

The benefit of this approach is clear to see. The energies and enthusiasm of our governors have made it possible to make a real difference to population health. Building on the success of this work will be a priority of the sub committee and the council of governors.

View the showcase poster.


Further information


LHCH Membership Office 
Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 
Thomas Drive 
L14 3PE 
0151 600 1410 

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

A key statutory role of the governors is to seek and reflect the views of their constituents and the wider public.

Although we felt as a council of governors we fulfilled this aim, we also felt we could do more too meaningfully engage with our broader communities.

Initially we attended local events in our more deprived communities to help promote the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccination, encourage people to register with a general practitioner and support the food clubs in these areas. This was a resounding success and we have subsequently expanded how, we engage with our communities.

We are working with our local Healthwatch to ensure we ask the right questions of our communities, our most recent question on behalf of Healthwatch was – How would you access mental health services? The responses were very varied and provided Healthwatch with useful feedback. We are aiming to run joint events with Healthwatch soon to promote the role of governors and the benefits of being a member of the Trust.

We have linked with the CVS, and this has proved helpful in identifying a wealth of other groups, many represent disadvantaged and minority groups within our communities – the feedback we receive from these groups will help support the development of the trusts 2024-2029 strategy.

We supported our local college in running a careers showcase, this was attended by over 650 people and promoted the careers available in the NHS, including research, human resources, IT, customer service and administration. We are keen to enrol more members in the younger age group and this was the perfect opportunity to engage, many members were signed up on the night whilst others enrolled as members using the QR code recently added to our membership form, this attracted the younger age group. Hopefully this will eventually lead to a youth governor on the council of governors.

We already run successful ‘Meet Your Governor’ events across all our hospital sites, where we talk to patients, carers, visitors, and staff. We have now expanded these into our local communities with stands at local event days, run by the local councils, including cost of living roadshows.

We have developed relationships with governors from other organisations within our Integrated Care System, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and Bassetlaw Hospital, which is managed by Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

We are developing these relationships to hold joint ‘Meet Your Governor’ events to understand all our communities and how governors can support them in ensuring the services provided across our health system are responsive to the community needs.

View the showcase poster.


Further information

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) provides a range of emergency, urgent care, and non-emergency healthcare services. The trust delivers most of these services to the populations of the South Central region – Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire – as well as non-emergency patient transport services in Surrey and Sussex, and a dental service (accessed via NHS 111) in parts of Dorset. SCAS is a monopoly provider of 999 emergency ambulance services within the South Central region. With the expansion into Surrey and Sussex, SCAS now serve a population of over seven million people across the six counties. SCAS employ 4,412 staff who, together with over 1,200 volunteers, enable the trust to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

SCAS visited ten sites across the south-central area to promote recruitment and advertise vacancies at the trust. Governors and staff were able raise awareness of what the ambulance service does and showcase vehicles. It was a fantastic opportunity to engage with the public across the counties we deliver our services and get feedback on what’s working and what needs improvement. We collaborated with recruitment to attend each location with a local governor equipped with resources including membership forms, children’s activity packs and merchandise ready to engage with their members and the public at large.

These events provided a one stop shop for those who are looking to join the emergency services. and chance to meet members from the frontline who will be on hand to share their real-life experiences and give you a glimpse into their working lives.

The breadth of career opportunities didn’t stop at the frontline. Recruitment specialists and current employees were on hand to talk about the wide range of opportunities available, from office-based support roles, community engagement and apprenticeships, right through to volunteer work. You will get the chance to receive advice on entry routes, eligibility, and the general.

We have one roadshow left to go and will be able to provide an overview of the outcome of the tour soon. We had some helpful feedback from the public including a patient who wanted to thank the service for saving his life.

View the showcase poster.

Recruitment and membership roadshow 2023.

Further information


Read more about the recruitment and membership roadshow.

Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Governor Handbook is the latest addition to a range of governor materials which the trust has put in place to support governor engagement with foundation trust members in recent years.  

This suite of materials, also developed in collaboration with the trust’s Governor Engagement Group (GEG), include postcards to record conversations during engagement events, 'Meet the Governor' posters and promotional banners, all of which provide a central contact for further questions or comments via the trust membership office. 

At Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation trust, we and our council of governors are keen to promote the role of governor and to attract prospective new governors during the governor election campaigns. We will be refreshing the handbook once again this year in readiness for the 2023 elections to ensure we are accurately promote the role, responsibilities and expectations of an NHS foundation trust governor within our trust. 

As a trust that is keen to develop opportunities for our governors to partner with us on engagement events and activity, to help seek views from our communities and promote the work of the trust, this handbook has so far proved extremely useful. 

The handbook has been a key aid to supporting governors in their role by bringing together topics from the questions governors say are most commonly asked of them. The document provides summary answers to questions plus a page of QR codes which link to information pages on the Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals website. This approach ensures that governors have access to as much up-to-date information as possible when they are representing the trust to engage with their members and communities. 

Links include information on: 

  • the trusts its services and sites 
  • transport and parking information for each hospital site 
  • working or training at the trust (including job vacancies and work experience) 
  • becoming a member 
  • becoming part of our lived experience panel (Experts by Experience) 
  • how to contact PALS and complaints 
  • key contacts for services, appointment booking numbers, wards and departments 
  • contacts in our partner organisations.


View the showcase poster.


Further information
01925 662139 


As part of our Governor Focus Conference 2022 and 2021, we ran a virtual showcase giving NHS trusts the opportunity to share good practice, facilitate discussions and network with peers. This conference took place online and so the showcase finalists were presented in animations at the event.