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Governor role

The role of the Council of Governors

Because we are a Foundation Trust, we have a Council of Governors.  Governors play a key role at University Hospitals Bristol in helping to guide the development of services, holding the Non-executive Directors to account, and representing the views of members.  Most governors are elected from the Foundation Trust membership. These elected governors reflect the interests of the community and represent their members when key decisions are taken at the Trust. There are 27 elected public, patient and staff governors on the UH Bristol Council of Governors. There are also eight Appointed Governors, who sit on the Council of Governors to represent the interest of stakeholder organisations.

Kathy Baxter cropped

Message from Kathy Baxter, patient governor, April 2018

Hello. My name is Kathy Baxter and I am a Patient Governor. I am very proud to be able to say that. I share this role with other governors, and together we share a huge diversity of experience and expertise. Along with the Board we work in unison to promote change and support all staff and patients, for a smooth running hospital and a more positive experience for patients.

I feel very honoured to be a Patient Governor, it is an important role and has opened new and exciting doors for me. I am a very pro-active patient governor and, working alongside the Membership team and the Patient and Public Involvement team, I am able to integrate myself with the patients and staff, seeing for myself how patients are cared for, for their physical and emotional needs, inclusion of their families and carers. I feel together we are able to make changes for the better. Being a governor has also encouraged me to join several external health in the community committees while also lecturing to many groups about Sight Awareness (I am blind and promote practical support to people with visual impairment), Health & Safety and much, much more. I always felt that my vision impairment would hold me back, unable to cope, but it has been anything but that. With help from my fellow governors I feel totally supported and encouraged, building my confidence.

I recently attended a members' Health Matters meeting to discuss our thoughts and opinions about the future of UH Bristol. There were so many people, different backgrounds, different professions, disabilities and nationalities, and we discussed our thoughts and I was surprised at the end we ALL had similar ideas and wants for our NHS. I feel these sessions are important for everyone to share their thoughts and design ways in which we can all support and work together. We cannot do things alone, we are one huge organisation BUT we have a huge and positive following.

We have an Outstanding hospital but this can only be by having an Outstanding hospital team and I am proud to be part of that.

I always look forward to tomorrow and what's next!

You can download a copy of the April membership e-newsletter here