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Governors attend their first meeting

In anticipation of gaining the go-ahead to become a Foundation Trust in January 2009, Governor Elections were held in June 2008. After months of induction events, the shadow governors were finally able to fulfil their role when they attended their first meeting. The 31 governors gathered at the Nowgen Centre where they were welcomed by Trust Chairman Peter Mount. He described how the application to become a Foundation Trust had been a demanding process. Mr Mount said: “We have recently had our meeting with Monitor in London and came away thinking we could not have done a better job. I was very proud of everyone.” As a Foundation Trust, our Trust will have strengthened arrangements for ensuring that it is well run and meets the changing needs of patients, carers, the local community and partner organisations. The Council of Governors is responsible for representing the interests and views of Members, monitoring the performance of the Trust, and ensuring high standards are maintained. Alongside these duties, there are also many opportunities to become involved in practical projects which will make a real difference to patients and the wider community. Mr Mount continued his welcome by giving an overview of the New Hospitals Development, the New Children’s Hospital Appeal, the new non-executive directors who had recently been appointed, the Trust objectives and its positive financial position. Professor Malcolm Chiswick was backed as the lead governor by his peers. The Chairman said: “He has a great experience of this Trust as he was on the Trust Board and was a lead clinician at Saint Mary’s for many years.” The governors received several constitutional documents and participated in lively debate, before Director of Corporate Services Sue Allison outlined the roles of each working group – Membership, Corporate Citizenship, Patient Experience and Public Health - but stressed that the governors’ many individual skills and qualities meant they would be asked to be involved in other projects. She added: “There are such exciting things on the horizon to be involved in.” The meeting was concluded with a presentation about Patient Experience by Director of Patient Services/Chief Nurse Gill Heaton and Deborah Carter, Associate Director of Patient Services.