Governor showcase 2019
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:
- Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
- Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
- Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
- Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
- Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
- South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
- Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
As part of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust journey to a Care Quality Commission ‘outstanding’ rating, the trust created a comprehensive 18-month development plan. The first phase focused on building governor capability and confidence, followed by two subsequent phases on raising the governor profile and engaging existing members, and finally recruiting new members.
Actions to progress these phases included:
- creation of a 'governor’s handbook' – a collection of expansive resources and guidance which outline the role of a governor, updated on a six-monthly basis
- governor development sessions – quarterly development sessions, with each session providing an in-depth look at topics such as finance, risk and external audit
- governor 'quick guides' of dos and don’ts to clarify the boundaries of the governor role.
Governors now more clearly understand their roles and are better equipped to undertake their duties. This includes:
- communicating with members via the trust’s Contact a governor system - a web form where members can submit queries to trust governors
- submitting regular pieces to the trust’s internal and external newsletters, sharing information regarding their role and news within the trust and raising their profile and prompting engagement.
Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
At Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, the governor’s membership development, involvement and communications group implemented a new member newsletter called Listening line.
The newsletter gives trust members a chance to directly engage with governors and aims to ensure that their voices are heard and responded to directly, as well as giving governors a clearer sense of member interests and concerns. Each issue is distributed to patient and public members with the trust magazine, and is available to staff members on the trust intranet. Listening line is also soon to be available on the trust website.
All types of governors (staff, patient, public and stakeholder) have contributed to Listening line, with recent topics including:
- how the trust supports end of life care in people’s homes locally
- how the Speaking up guardian programme works for staff
- how local young people can gain employment at the trust
- how our new neighbourhood nursing programme works.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ are also offering members opportunities to make suggestions for improvement.
Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust have developed a more informal, but still informative, way of connecting with members, giving them the opportunity to raise issues and concerns in a comfortable environment. With over 80 people attending the first round table event, and a governor hosting each table, members felt listened to. These sessions are in constant motion - feedback is noted and brought in as a lesson on how to improve.
Frimley have also implemented escalation routes for any issues raised. Depending on the context, this includes bringing to either the community engagement group or the patient experience group. These channels serve as ways to take on board and, where appropriate, action any concerns.
Benefits stemming from these meaningful engagements include:
- members understand more of what it means to be a governor, therefore becoming more interested in undertaking the role themselves
- governors appreciate the time with local members and, in turn, the board values and listens to the feedback
- any areas of improvement are recorded and escalated, with follow ups to be monitored through the council of governor’s subcommittees
- interest in working as a volunteer has increased
- members felt valued and expressed a desire for more engagement.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
To better understand the needs of the diverse community surrounding Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the council of governors identified the need to increase representation. To do so, they developed an engagement strategy that looked beyond the hospital and into the community which it serves - thereby, engaging with those who face health inequalities.
Governors attended multiple events to raise their profile, including:
- Preston pride to engage with the LGBTQ community
- Macmillan cricket tournament to engage with Indian and Pakistani communities
- Health Melas organised by the National Forum for Health and Wellbeing (Lancashire Gujarat health users’ forum)
- staff diversity events
- governors’ patient experience charity fund which supports initiatives that benefits our patients and visitors.
As a result, at least four BAME patients and two young people have applied to become governors. The team recognise that there is much more to achieve but the council of governors are determined to keep pushing. The trust engaged with a number of people and its main aim was to highlight the important role that governors play.
Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Over a single 12-month period at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the chair and four non-executive directors all reached the end of their terms of office. This motivated the council of governors to conduct an effective process and a smooth transition of the board.
Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
By taking on the role of critical friend and advocating for patients, families and staff, the council of governors at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust play an important role supporting the trust as it aims to maintain it’s 'outstanding' Care Quality Commission rating.
They have established a robust infrastructure that ensures it is able to hold non-executive directors to account for the performance of the trust in varied ways, including:
- annual joint council of governors and board of directors development day
- membership of nominations and remuneration committee
- council of governors interest groups (led by executives and senior management) on finance and performance, quality and patient experience
- observation of board of directors meetings held in public
- participation in patient and family feedback events
- involvement in PLACE inspections.
Resulting from their diligent work the trust has guaranteed:
- successful implementation of the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust membership strategy 2018-19
- outstanding practice in the well-led governance review
- successful delivery of annual council of governor objectives.
They also looked at an engagement plan that aims to target under-represented demographic groups and supports the prevention agenda through delivering public health messages via our Medicine for members programme.
Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
In the run up to the 2018 autumn elections, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust had 14 governor vacancies to fill. To overcome this issue, the team used the opportunity to increase engagement with existing members and to attract new members to the role.
Methods used to encourage participation included:
- revamping the application form
- increasing their profile by designing a mobile shaped leaflet to attract younger members
- putting up banners and posters to advertise the governor elections.
The trust also filmed three videos, which were publicised on social media and amassed over 200 views in total.
As a result of their hard work, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear had the highest number of candidates standing for some governor positions. Not only that, but they also had over 1500 votes cast for the two staff governor roles and over 1000 for the two public governor roles. This was a reflection of all the hard work that the team put into the elections.
The team will continue to engage with the harder-to-fill constituency groups.
Recognising each governor’s desire to undertake and be involved in wider aspects of the trust’s work, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust developed and cultivated an environment wherein governors are engaged in a variety of activities across the trust.
These activities include:
- visits to services and meetings with the senior management teams
- taking part in trust events
- getting involved in project boards and service development work
- being part of the appointment process for members of the board of directors and executive team.
Governors also sit on serious incident enquiry panels and are part of interview panels for senior appointments, which one governor described as demonstrating "an inclusive and transparent approach to taking a very big decision".
This approach works to the strength of each governor, and appreciates the unique contribution that they bring to Oxleas. The governors bring not only a diverse set of experiences but a reflection of the communities they represent. Ensuring that governors are a part of project boards, reviews and enquiry panels enable them to have a wider effect on the work of the organisation and promotes a pride in working together for the benefit of local people.
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
Ward and outpatient accreditation programme
With the aim of reducing variation in practice, whilst incentivising high standards in care, the ward and outpatient accreditation programme was developed to meet the needs of Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust. It also provides assurance that Care Quality Commission requirements are being met, while identifying any improvements that need to be made.
The governors were part of a team of two or three clinical and non-clinical staff who undertook observations in a ward or outpatient areas.
Governors and non-executive directors involved use an observational tool to assess:
- processes, e.g. safety briefings, handover, whiteboard rounds
- observations of behaviour, e.g. privacy, dignity and respect of patients
- observations of the environment
- opportunity to have conversations with patients to understand how they feel about the ward/area.
Where a ward/area does not achieve the accreditation level, they will be supported to make improvements. Governors would then be involved in the reassessment of this area.
Not only do the governors challenge whilst observing, but it helps them to understand the work of the trust and adds value to role of the governor by giving them a first-hand view of front line areas.
South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
Membership engagement: The smile bids schemes
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s council of governors wanted a way of engaging with members and giving them a real and tangible benefit of membership. Through their smile bids scheme, the trust was able to spread awareness of mental wellbeing in the community and reduce the stigma of mental ill health, raise awareness of the trust’s services and optimise the opportunity to increase the membership base It also allowed the governors to be involved in practical initiatives to improve the wellbeing of the communities served by the trust, as well as analysing bids submitted and identifying any themes that could help inform the trust’s business planning process.
- members were offered up to £750 in funding to run projects which would benefit service users, whether in community groups, activities on ward, or amongst friends and peer supporters
- funds were released directly to successful bidders who take responsibility for running their bids
- bidders got the chance to showcase their projects at the launch event for the next bids scheme.
- over 600 awards have been made (2009- 2018), with hundreds of people benefitting from each bid
- there has been a significant boost to trust membership
- some beneficiaries have later stood for governor election
- staff awareness of the membership has been raised
- some projects are now taken into mainstream funding.
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Support for service users governors in governance roles
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust want to ensure that all service user governors who have experience of using mental health services feel confident and supported to be effective in their governance roles.
The trust recognised that some service user governors were feeling overwhelmed in their roles and together with the training and development committee implemented a programme of support which includes:
- a full day’s induction, including a support and reasonable adjustment session and a detailed governor handbook to take away.
- identifying further support needs via the equality monitoring form
- mentor/buddy system
- an occupational health assessment
- peer support calls before and post formal council of governor meetings
- regular support reviews.
The support now in place has proven positive results. Service user governors now feel:
- comfortable and confident in their role and themselves
- able to provide meaningful involvement
- able to make effective decisions
- provide a collective voice that makes a difference to improving mental health services.
The trust is proud to have a service user governor constituency that provide a collective voice that makes a difference to improving mental health services.
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Promoting membership for the next generation
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust recognise that their membership database should be reflective of the wider community they serve, and the geographical area they cover. In response to the realisation that their membership reflected an older age group, the team broadened their membership and reduced the minimum age for trust membership from 16 to 14.
Proactively engaging with young people was key and resulted in many new membership enquiries. Tactics to encourage interest included:
- governors gave a well received presentation to health and social care students at South Devon College, which alone resulted in over 70 new membership enquiries
- 'day in the life of' event, which was publicised to students throughout the college
- presentations from paramedics, nurses, and career opportunities in admin, laboratories and pharmaceuticals
- attending the trust’s apprenticeship day, part of apprenticeship week 2019.
The work of the governors raised awareness of the trust, the services they offer and promoted it as a place to begin (and hopefully continue) a career.