How governors play an important role within their trust

Chris Roberts profile picture

10 December 2018

Chris Roberts
Community services governor
Oxford Health Foundation Trust


Chris Roberts is the lead governor at Oxford Health Foundation Trust and the community services representative on our Governor Advisory Committee.

What made you become a governor? 

A close family member was very ill and cared for by the trust and I wanted to use my experience, which had elements that were both positive and negative, to assist the trust in running the services it provides.

I enjoy being part of the process of change in the trust.

Chris Roberts    Community services governor

How long have you been a governor?

I have spent five years as a governor with two years as lead governor, a position that is elected on an annual basis at Oxford Health Foundation Trust.

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

I am a finance professional in the music business by trade. My finance background helps me with some of the reporting we get as governors but the board composition is strong in terms of finance skills and experience.

What made you stand for election to the Governor Advisory Committee (GAC)?

Oxford Health is a complex trust delivering a large number of services, over a wide geography and is involved with one STP and an integrated care system (ICS ). Although I am the community services representative on the GAC my experience is much wider than community services due to the breadth of Oxford Health’s service provision and the system it sits within. I believe that my experience as a governor in this environment (and latterly lead governor) will contribute to the development of NHS Provider’s governor support and training programmes. 

The most important role of a governor is to provide a feedback mechanism to the trust via a common sense, external view point as well as appointing the chair of the trust.

Chris Roberts    Community services governor

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

The most important role is to provide a feedback mechanism to the trust via a common sense, external view point as well as appointing the chair of the trust. The governors drove the process this year, including selecting a recruitment agency, to appoint a replacement for our experienced chair who is stepping down and we were pleased to appoint a new chair, who takes up their post early in 2019. This important process was time consuming for me as lead governor this year.

What do you enjoy most about being a governor? 

I enjoy being part of the process of change in the trust. Although governors have limited powers we can point to examples when the trust has really listened to governor feedback and taken actions as a result.

 

Governor Advisory Committee (GAC) 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 Chris please email governors@nhsproviders.org

About the author

Chris Roberts profile picture

Chris Roberts
Community services governor

Chris Roberts is the lead governor at Oxford Health Foundation Trust and the community services representative on our Governor Advisory Committee (GAC).

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