Governor showcase 2018

Following the success of the Governor showcase at our previous Governor focus conference, we were delighted to have included this area again for trusts to exhibit the exciting work their governors are doing and share their examples of best practice. You can see this year's exhibitors and download their exhibition posters below. 

The exhibiting trusts this year were:

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Raising and valuing less heard staff voices through staff governor role

In establishing the council of governors, we wanted to ensure 'less-heard' staff had a voice in our trust. We established two staff governor roles to represent healthcare assistants and support staff. They have played an active role in demonstrating the value of healthcare assistant roles and empowering staff to use their voice to influence their organisation. Being part of discussions with other governor and board colleagues, the staff governors have demonstrated the benefit of staff feedback.

Healthcare assistants are the backbone of community services and have a unique relationship with patients. This model allows us to tap into this resource and identify leaders from within this group to empower and encourage their colleagues to share ideas and take ownership of their organisation. This delivers better care, better outcomes and is a better use of resources.

Jean Dipple, a staff governor, said: "my impact is to reassure the governors that safe, responsive care is embedded throughout the workforce. Engaging with the workforce, communicating the vision and values of organisation and developing leadership skills for all is my passion."

Through this role, this staff group have seen more recognition of their role within the trust and have been inspired. We have our future staff governors ready and waiting.

Download the poster

Cambridge University Hospitals 

Strengthening engagement at the Annual Public Meeting (APM)

In an attempt to increase member engagement and encourage higher attendance numbers, we changed the format of our APM . The event had two distinct goals:

Governors played a key role in encouraging members and the public to speak about their experiences and often contributed to the discussion by representing the opinions of other members who were not present at the event. 

The outcomes of the APM were:

We now have a high profile annual event where the benefits reach both the local community, who now feel that they can access senior Cambridge University Hospital staff and governors to have their say, and the senior staff and governors, who have an opportunity to meet with service users to gain feedback on pertinent issues. The round table format of the event promoted equality - everyone’s opinions are of equal importance.

Download the poster

Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Governors looking through the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) eyes

Governors wanted to take on a more active role in observing the quality of care and have their own view on how the trust was delivering its services.

The council of governors have an active working group that carries our regular audits on wards and departments which they have tailored around CQC’ 5 key lines of enquiry. During the visit the governors observe and talk to staff from all disciplines. This gives governors essential assurance on the quality of care but also allows them to raise any areas of concern with the board and share learning. Group members also participate in 'board 2 ward' visits and any trust mock CQC inspections.

The benefits to the trust are:

The profile of the governors is also raised across the trust and this group of governors also have that link with the local CQC contact so they can provide feedback to them.

Download the poster

Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Enhancing Governor Effectiveness

Governors are required under the NHS Improvement code of corporate governance to periodically assess their collective performance, regularly communicating to members and the public how they are carrying out their responsibilities.

Following a recent 'well led' review, governors commissioned a review of their own governance arrangements at the trust. 

The review resulted in 12 recommendations, these included:

The review has resulted in a number of benefits including:

The review helped governors to take a critical approach to their work and reflect on how they can be more effective for the benefit of patients and the public in Doncaster, Bassetlaw and beyond.

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Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

Stronger Together: working together in merger transactions

In line with the council of governors’ statutory role to approve the application by the trust to merge with another trust, and approve entering into a significant transaction, it was critical that governors from both trusts were kept well-briefed to ensure an informed decision was made.

Both councils had to be assured that their boards had undertaken a comprehensive approach to the merger and appropriate due diligence. They also needed assurance that their respective non-executive directors had challenged their executive directors and that the boards had obtained and considered the interests of the trusts’ members and public.

Both boards ensured the councils were kept regularly informed of progress, with both receiving the same information, having honest discussions, asking questions and seeking assurance, including;

Legislation did not provide for a combined council, but joint working was undertaken wherever possible. Governors’ knowledge, experience and different perspectives contributed to the successful development of the constitution and appointments to the interim board.

EPUT was established on 1 April 2017, becoming the first successful foundation trust to foundation trust merger, delivered on time, to budget and with a green risk rating from NHS Improvement; a significant achievement.

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Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


The issue log was introduced 12 months ago as a means of recording issues received by governors. The issue log achieved timely responses to issues and gave members a vehicle to express their views via their governor, which were logged at the council of governors representation meeting. What the issue log didn’t do was record anything other than issues, such as ideas and innovations that people might suggest and the trust could use to benefit and progress the organisation.

The council of governors approved the change from issues log to i’Log at the council of governors representation committee about a year ago and agreed that the change would undoubtedly improve:

The intention and expectation of the council is that:

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Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Governors as 'critical friends'

Following increased demand for our services over the winter, the chief executive asked governors for help in assessing how the hospital environment was faring under the pressure.     

In order to get a real sense of the normal day-to-day environment at our hospitals, governors act as a ‘critical friend’ to assess the environment, both external and internal, from the perspective of our patients and visitors. Governors feedback their thoughts and findings so the trust can make any necessary changes to improve the environment and experience for patients.   

The outcomes and benefits include:

Following increased demand for our services over the winter, the chief executive asked governors for help in assessing how the hospital environment was faring under the pressure.   

Download the poster


Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust

Holding non-executive directors (NEDs) to account

We wanted to establish practical ways that governors could undertake their duty to hold NEDs to account that ensured a consistent and comprehensive approach that supports collaborative working between the Board and the council of governors (CoG) to improve care.

We established a holding NEDs to account working group, including a NED, to agree ways to increase scrutiny and feedback between the CoG and NEDs. The steps we implemented include:

The outcomes of this framework:

Download the poster

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