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NHS champions needed for hospital governor roles


Steve McGuirk

WARRINGTON and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is looking for local people to be NHS champions by becoming public governors.
The Foundation Trust, which comprises Warrington Hospital, Halton General Hospital and the Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre has 16 public governors whose role is to ensure that decisions made about the hospitals are in patients’ best interests as well as being a vital ambassador for our local communities.
Governors also help patients and members of the public by joining governor groups that look specifically at quality in dare and communications and engagement.
There are seven public governor positions up for election this autumn as existing terms of office come to an end or where there are constituencies without a local ambassador.
To be eligible to stand as a governor the individual must be at least 16 years old, live in one of the areas that are up for election and be a foundation trust member. Membership is free and involves completing a simple form, the Trust currently has around 12,000 local people who are already members.
The areas in Warrington up for election are:
* Lymm, Grappenhall, Thelwall
* Appleton, Stockton Heath, Hatton, Stretton and Walton
* Penketh and Cuerdley, Great Sankey North, Great Sankey South
* Poplars and Hulme, Orford
* North Mersey
One other constituency is up for election, for members that do not live in one of the other 15 constituencies:
* Rest of England and Wales
Chairman of the Trust Steve McGuirk said: “There has never been a more important time to step forward for your local NHS. We are working to continually improve and develop our services, focusing on the way we deliver care and recruit, train and grow our wonderful and dedicated WHH workforce. At the same time we face significant challenges both financially and operationally.
“We really value our Council of Governors and the individuals who give up their time to hold our non-executive directors to account, help us define our strategic direction and provide that critical voice for the local populations that we serve.
“If you are passionate about the NHS and your local hospitals then becoming a governor is a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills and experience as well as being our patient and public ambassadors ensuring that their interest remain front and centre of all we do.”
Lead governor Norman Holding said: “The time commitments required of governors has been refined over the last year and we now ask for attendance at four Council of Governor meetings per year as well as choosing one of the governor groups which meet six times per year. There are some less formal events such as meeting patients and helping out with our annual members day but these are optional.”
The role is voluntary, travel expenses are reimbursed and free governor parking permits are provided.
Individuals who wish to put themselves forward must first enrol as a Foundation Trust member through the Membership and Engagement section of the website at www.whh.nhs.uk before  October 17 or by clicking on the “join us” button on the front page of the hospitals website.

Nomination forms will be issued to all members from mid-September to complete if they wish to stand. A postal ballot of members to elect the nominees in each area then takes place in November. More information and nomination details are available from the Returning Officer, UK Engage, at https://pre.ukevote.uk/whh



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