A hospital saved my life – now I’m a governor

Amanda Buss profile picture

24 June 2019

Amanda Buss
Public governor
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust


Maurice Alston is a public governor and lead governor at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and a member of the Governor Advisory Committee (GAC).

What made you become a governor?

My life was saved by Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital in 1999 and I felt the need to contribute something. This was not my local hospital but I chose it as I had heard it was very good and I was right! When a position became available on the council of governors for Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust (Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals), I was nominated for the rest of England and Wales constituency and elected unopposed.

My life was saved by Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital in 1999 and I felt the need to contribute something.

Amanda Buss    Public governor

How long have you been a governor?

Over eight years so I will be reaching the end of my full tenure next year. I have also been the lead governor for most of that time.

What career/jobs/life experiences have you had that are relevant to your governor role?

My early career was as a chemical engineer, manager and director in the chemical and process industries. For another 25 years, as proprietor of a management consultancy, I specialised in human resource development. My clients were wide ranging and included small businesses, multinational corporations, the police and prison services, local authorities and government departments. I chaired or facilitated the work of committees close to government and not for profit bodies across the UK. I have delivered projects in several European countries, the former USSR, the USA and Mexico.

Having retired from business, I devote much of my time to benefit others. I trained and practiced as a neighbourhood mediator and as a bereavement support worker. I was vice chair and chair of Bracknell Forest U3A for two years and chair of Mediation UK also for two years.

I am now 87 and my experience of chairing or facilitating committees and working groups across the UK on a wide range of topics is particularly relevant to the governor role.

Amanda Buss    Public governor

I am now 87 and my experience of chairing or facilitating committees and working groups across the UK on a wide range of topics is particularly relevant to the governor role.

What made you stand for election to the GAC?

I felt that my quite long experience as a governor and lead governor could be helpful to other governors, especially new ones. My involvement in a national committee also puts my trust on the map.

What do you think is the most important role a governor plays?

There are two equal roles in my view - holding the board to account and also representing my constituents. The latter has been a real challenge as I represent the rest of England and Wales constituency as the trust undertakes out of area work in the colorectal and renal specialties and is also a specialist centre for a rare form of cancer. Governor walkrounds of the various wards and departments are one way in which we seek to keep in touch with our patients and constituents.

Governor walkrounds of the various wards and departments are one way in which we seek to keep in touch with our patients and constituents.

Amanda Buss    Public governor

What do you enjoy most about being a governor?

Seeing the excellent results produced by the outstanding management team in my trust including the non-executives.

What changes in healthcare that you see locally or nationally excite you?

The national and local work in bringing together social and health care. I don’t think we have achieved as much as we might locally but our new chair is on the case!


Governor Advisory Committee members provide oversight and feedback on our work and areas that require debate and action. They help to shape the governor services we provide to our members such as our 
GovernWell training programme, annual Governor focus conference, bespoke training and guidance resources.

If you would like to contact Maurice please email governors@nhsproviders.org

About the author

Amanda Buss profile picture

Amanda Buss
Public governor

Amanda Buss is a public governor at Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation trust and a member of the Governor Advisory Committee (GAC).

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