How I've broadened my skills by becoming a governor

Pauline Garnett profile picture

30 November 2018

Pauline Garnett
Staff governor


Pauline Garnett is a staff governor for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the staff governor representative for our Governor Advisory Committee.

 

What made you become a governor?

I felt that becoming a governor would be an excellent opportunity to gain an overview of the overall performance of the trust as I sometimes get so immersed in my daily work that I don't allow time to look at its strategic direction. Equally, I had a genuine interest in making a positive contribution and playing an active role in representing staff views in developing quality services for patients and enhancing staff working lives.

Being a governor has broadened my skills, given me a sense of fulfilment and provided a fascinating insight into how the trust operates and as a result I have a well-rounded knowledge of the organisation.

Pauline Garnett    Staff governor


How long have you been a Governor?

I have been a staff governor since April 2016 and am one of four staff governors in my trust, representing the nursing and midwifery staff constituency.

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

I am a registered nurse and have worked in the NHS for over 25 years in various roles and settings and currently work as a genetic counsellor. I have been involved in an extensive range of initiatives including leading on key projects to support quality improvement strategies, peer reviews, internal verifier and have facilitated a staff focus group. This enabled me to capture the views of a cross section of staff and share their concerns to facilitate change in aspects of their work.

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

I felt it was an exciting opportunity and I knew that I would relish the opportunity to represent the staff's full range of viewpoints, influence the delivery of NHS provider initiatives and make a positive impact. The NHS is going through clinical and economic challenges and it is important that member's views are taken into consideration as their insightful knowledge can provide solutions to some of the challenges encountered.

I had a genuine interest in making a positive contribution and playing an active role in representing staff views in developing quality services for patients and enhancing staff working lives.

Pauline Garnett    Staff governor


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

Governors can play a key role in supporting the organisation's delivery of services and ensuring that members' views are respected and articulated in order to enhance patient care and staff working lives. It is important that governors listen to members, are visible and accessible and utilise the necessary information and intelligence. This can enable effective decision-making and problem-solving, assist in driving change and make real improvements.

What do you enjoy most about being a governor?

I find it stimulating discussing a range of issues, influencing and contributing to important discussions and decision-making. Being a governor has broadened my skills, given me a sense of fulfillment and provided a fascinating insight into how the trust operates and as a result I have a well-rounded knowledge of the organisation.

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

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is increasing quality and productivity through its transformation programme. There are several initiatives that have been implemented to improve patients and staff overall experience. "Work as One" week has been introduced where wards and departments have joined forces to improve how they work together and bring the trust values to life. As a result, staff across the trust are looking at areas of practice collectively such as getting patients treated safely and quickly and improving their overall experience. This has resulted in staff feeling energised by this new way of working.

Staff advocates have been recently trained to support staff with any workplace problems at an early stage to reduce the need to escalate issues. A staff engagement programme has also been introduced to allow everyone the opportunity to be involved, have a voice, provide feedback and shape how the trust operates and delivers care.

 

 

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 Pauline please email governors@nhsproviders.org

About the author

Pauline Garnett profile picture

Pauline Garnett
Staff governor

Pauline Garnett is a staff governor at the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is the staff representative on the Governor Advisory Committee (GAC).

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