Key points to note

  • Public and staff Governors will be directly elected from their constituency within the public and staff membership (elected for 3 year terms)
  • Rolling elections will ensure continuity of Council of Governors
  • Partner Governors will be nominated by their organisations
  • The health and social care bill currently awaiting royal assent increases the role of Governors
  • The Council of Governors will:
    • Appoint Chair of the Trust, and NEDs
    • Approve appointment of Chief Executive
    • Appoint the Trust Auditor
    • Ensures Board of Directors understands needs of the members and local communities
    • Ensure Trust acts in accordance with its term of authorisation
    • Advise Board of Directors on long term direction of the Trust

Council of Governors

Our Council of Governors will have 37 Governors with three different types of Governor: public staff and partner Governors, each representing members in their ‘constituency,’ or, in the case of partner Governors, their organisation.

Public and staff Governors will be directly elected from their constituency within the public and staff memberships. Partner Governors will be nominated by their organisations.

The Governor role is unpaid, although expenses will be met and training will be provided. Staff will be have dedicated time set aside for the role and partner organisations will be expected to release their Governor for Council of Governor meetings and at other times when necessary.

Elected Governors will be nominated by members and will normally stand for election every three years. By staggering the terms of office of Governors at our first elections, we will introduce a rolling programme of elections to ensure all our elected Governors are not standing for election at the same time.

The Council of Governors has three main roles which are:

  • To communicate to the Board of Directors the needs of members and the wider community
  • To ensure the Trust is operating in accordance with its terms of authorisation
  • To advise on a longer term direction

Our Council of Governors will meet in public six times per year.

The Chair of the Board will be appointed by the Council of Governors and will be Chair of both the Council of Governors and the Board of Directors.

Public Governors

In order to ensure our Council of Governors can be as reflective as possible of our local communities, we are dividing our local population into eight constituencies. These are based on local authority electoral wards.

The number of Governors allocated to each constituency is largely based on the number of patients we treat from that area, although some adjustments were made in response to the feedback from local people during our public consultation in 2008.

Public Constituencies
Oldbury and Smethwick 3
Wednesbury and West Bromwich 3
Rowley Regis and Tipton 3
Perry Barr 3
Ladywood 3
Edgbaston 1
Erdington 1
Remainder of the West Midlands 2

Staff Governors

Staff Governors have been allocated by professional group and the numbers of Governors for each group is based on the number of staff we employ in those professions.

Staff Governors
Medical and Dental 2
Nursing and Midwifery 3
Other clinical 3
Non clinical support 3

Partner Governors

NHS Foundation Trusts are required to invite their Local Authorities to nominate a partner Governor, as well as their main Primary Care Trust/s. The new health and social care bill removes the need for Primary Care Trusts to be represented on the Council and we need to think about what this will mean for our Council of Governors as we develop our plans.

As a teaching trust of the University of Birmingham, we are required to have a partner Governor from the University. However, as we train a large number of nursing, midwifery and therapy students from Birmingham City University and the University of Wolverhampton, it is essential that these universities are involved as well.

Partner Governors
Birmingham City Council University of Birmingham
Sandwell MBC Birmingham City University
Heart of Birmingham teaching PCT Wolverhampton University
Sandwell PCT

Governor communication and training

We are developing a training programme for Governors that will include a compulsory induction to the organisation, optional training in the skills Governors will need, and opportunity to network with Governors in other NHS Foundation Trusts.

Governors will be encouraged to communicate with the members they represent and listen to their views. They will be supported to hold Governor Surgeries, write articles for newsletters and blogs and have conversations with members through Governor website pages on our Engage website (Click here).