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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.

Mary Whittington

Message from Mary Whittington, Public Governor, November 2018

Hello, my name is Mary Whittington and I've been a governor since June 2017. As an architect, I spent much of my career working with NHS Trusts around England, designing new healthcare facilities and advising them on how to make best use of their existing estate. After retiring I wanted to continue to apply this knowledge and experience so decided to put myself forward for election.

I've tried to attend as many of the governor Quality, Strategy and Constitution Focus Group meetings as I can over the past 18 months, as well as the Board meetings in public and meetings with the Chair and non-executives, to understand the range of issues and challenges faced by the Trust and, of course, the successes. We regularly receive presentations from members of the Trust Senior Management Team, which are extremely informative and are a great help to us in our role as governors.

My professional background means that I'm particularly interested in the Strategy Focus Group, where I have been able to contribute to discussions about the proposed new transport hub. I'm looking forward to hearing more about these plans as they develop and the feedback on the responses to the public consultation.

I was fortunate to be selected to represent the Governors in the IDEA Group, which works with the Trust's Arts Programme Director, Dr Anna Farthing, on the development of the arts strategy for the hospitals. This is a really exciting opportunity to improve the experience of those using our hospitals - patients, visitors and staff - through the use of different forms of art. Hopefully you will have seen some of the exhibitions and activities that have already taken place in our hospitals and around the city. Each month has a theme - November's theme has been 'Images' and as part of this everyone has been encouraged to take a fresh look at their surroundings and commit to undertaking a few small actions to improve the appearance and atmosphere of their working environment. December's theme will be 'Sound', which will include all kinds of music, podcasts and silent reflection. Look out for the events and exhibitions when you're next in the hospitals.

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