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Council of Governors

Last updated: 09/05/2023

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 and Weston NHS Foundation Trust in helping to guide the development of services, holding the non-executive directors to account, representing the views of members, and undertaking a range of statutory duties such as the appointment of the chair and non-executive directors. 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.

Meet the Governors

We have 29 Governors in total, which includes 17 Public Governors, six Appointed Governors from local stakeholders and six Staff Governors. A poster of our Governors is available here. Foundation Trust members can ask governors to raise issues at the Trust on their behalf. If you would like to contact the Governors or have any questions about Foundation Trust membership, please email the Membership Office at foundationtrust@uhbw.nhs.uk, call 0117 342 3764, or write to Corporate Governance, Trust HQ, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Marlborough Street, Bristol BS1 3NU. A register of interests, which includes our governors, is on our Reports and Publications page.

Council of Governors meetings

We will no longer be live-streaming our Council of Governors meetings on their allotted dates below. Members of the public who wish to observe a meeting via a video link can do so using the YouTube links which will be posted to this page 48 hours after the meeting is held. All papers will continue to be published on this page prior to the meeting date and members of the public are invited to submit questions to the Council of Governors in line with the Trust’s normal process. Please be advised recordings will only be available for two weeks after the meeting.

Our Council of Governors meetings are open to all Foundation Trust Members, members of staff, and members of the public. Please note you are still able to ask questions of the Council of Governors by emailing them before the meeting to foundationtrust@uhbw.nhs.uk and we will endeavour to answer your question during the meeting or provide a written response after the meeting. 

This year's Council of Governors meetings are as follows:

  • Tuesday 18 April 2023.Papers are available here, additional papers here.
  • Thursday 29 June 2023, 10.00-12.30pm. The recording of this meeting is available here. Papers are available here, additional papers here.
  • Tuesday 12 September 2023, 17.15-19.15 (Annual Members Meeting). The recording of this meeting is available here. Papers for this meeting are available here. Unfortunately the Governor and Membership activity was not presented at the meeting; please find slides in relation to this section here.
  • Tuesday 23 November 2023, 10.00-12.30pm
  • Tuesday 16 January 2023, 10.00-12.30pm.

    Previous Council Of Governors papers are available here.

    Council of Governors Updates to Foundation Trust Members

    Every month, the Council of Governors write an update to Foundation Trust members on the things they have been involved in and send them to members as part of the monthly e-newsletter. If you are interested in hearing about what the Trust and the Governors have been up to, become a member and receive the full e-newsletter. Below are the recent Council of Governors updates for you to see what they have been involved in!

    June 2023 +

    This month’s Governor report comes from one of our Public Governors for Bristol.

    "My name is Mo Phillips and I have been a Governor at UHBW for nearly six years. I was recently re-elected for another three years. Governors can serve a maximum of nine years in total.

    Governors are tasked with representing the interests of the Trust and the public. We are required to hold the Non-executive Directors individually and collectively to account for the overall performance of the Board. Issues that have been highlighted as concerns for Governors cover a wide range of topics including staffing and staff wellbeing, diversity, fire training, patient discharge, and estates and facilities to name but a few. Post pandemic recovery, especially waiting lists, remains a high priority, and these are just an example of some of the issues that Governors address.

    I am delighted to welcome our newly elected Governors, following the recent elections. Some existing Governors were re-elected– but we also have some new faces round the table with new staff Governors and public Governors joining us for the first time. Some were able to attend our recent Development Seminar.

    New Governors bring with them their own personal experiences and contributions and it’s always good to refresh the governing body with new people and ideas. Staff Governors are invaluable as they can bring actual experience and knowledge from working in our hospitals."

    May 2023 +

    This month’s Governor report comes from one of our Public Governors for Bristol.

    "Welcome to the latest edition of your UHBW newsletter.  My name is Martin Rose and I am an elected public governor, representing Bristol.  It is such an interesting role, something that I am privileged to hold.

    Currently, we are in election season with potentially five new governors coming to impart their knowledge and experience into this varied and relevant position, so I wish all of the candidates well in this process. You will see an announcement next week on our website and next month we will update you all on who are your Governors.

    I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter and perhaps we may meet at one of our Health Matters events or something else in the future. Before I sign off, there is a big national push to encourage volunteering, it is such a great thing to do, and the benefits go in both directions. If this is something you would consider taking part in at our Trust, why don't you contact UHBW and see what opportunities there are, you might find a perfect fit waiting for you!

    With best wishes


    April 2023 +

    This month’s Governor report comes from one of our Public Governors for South Gloucestershire.

    "As a Governor of the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW), I have had the opportunity to gain valuable insights into the inner workings of a Hospital Trust that serves a large and diverse demographic. One recent experience that left a lasting impression on me was the sustainability tour of the Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI), where I had the chance to learn about the hospital's efforts towards sustainability and environmental consciousness.

    One of the highlights of the tour was our visit to the roof of St Michael's Hospital, where solar panels had been installed. It was inspiring to see how the hospital was utilising renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future. The solar panels not only provided a source of clean energy but also demonstrated the hospital's commitment to adopting innovative and eco-friendly solutions.

    We also had the opportunity to visit the boiler room, where we gained a better understanding of how the hospital pumps heat around the site. It was fascinating to see how the hospital's infrastructure covers a large part of the city centre and spans up a very steep hill. The complexity of the system and the efforts put into optimising energy usage was truly impressive. It highlighted the importance of efficient energy management in a large hospital setting and the strides being made towards reducing the hospital's environmental impact.

    Another eye-opening experience was witnessing how the hospital handles waste, particularly clinical waste that requires careful management. We learned about the incineration process and the measures in place to ensure proper disposal and adherence to environmental regulations. It was a stark reminder of the significant volume of waste generated in a hospital setting and the importance of responsible waste management practices.

    The sustainability tour at BRI was an eye-opening experience that reinforced the critical role that hospitals play in addressing environmental challenges. It was inspiring to see the commitment of UHBW towards sustainability and the strides being made to minimise the environmental impact of the hospital's operations.

    In conclusion, as a Governor, this experience has provided me with a deeper understanding of the complex and multifaceted structure of a Hospital Trust like UHBW. It has also highlighted the importance of sustainability and environmental consciousness in the healthcare sector. I am proud to be associated with a Trust that is taking proactive steps towards creating a more sustainable future for our community."

    March 2023 +

    This month, we share a letter from Eugine Yafele, our Chief Executive.

    “Dear Foundation Trust member,

    I hope this letter finds you safe and well, despite the challenges of winter.

    In many ways, we have now learned to live with COVID-19 and all that this brings. We still have Covid-positive patients in hospital, and pressures on the system are at an all time high. The Trust is doing all it can in a tough period for the NHS, with large waiting lists and sustained pressures on Emergency Departments.

    I joined the Trust in May 2022, and since then I have seen the passion and dedication the staff in this Trust has for the job they do, and I am proud to work for a Trust with such dedicated staff. The Leadership team are constantly striving to make sure the wellbeing offers for staff are available and used as much as we can, and ensure the staff are treated as well as they treat the patients that come in.

    In July 2022, the Integrated Care System (ICS) became a legal entity, and in December 2022, they launched the first part of their long-term plan; the Strategic Framework.  This framework will underpin the work of the Integrated Care System and influence all the work that is done within the system. The ICS will launch the next part of this, the ‘Joint Forward Plan’, in Spring of 2023 and we will keep members updated with our work with them via our monthly emailed newsletters. If you do not receive these but would like to, please email Foundationtruat@uhbw.nhs.uk and let them know.

    In October 2022, Weston General Hospital implemented new management arrangements to begin our mission to deliver exceptional care, teaching and research every day. We also heard from members of the public, staff and people who may be particularly affected on how we could plan practical next steps in the Healthy Weston programme. The feedback has been instrumental in making the future plans for Weston General Hospital and you can find out more by visiting the Healthier Together website, www.bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk.

    Finally, I would like to remind you of how you can be involved in the work in the Hospital. From volunteering to being a Governor, there are lots of ways to lend your support.

    Through our membership, we can be closer to the people who understand and care about our work, and you also have a voice in the way the Trust is run, because you elect governors to represent you onto our Council of Governors. On the reverse of this letter, you will find information about opportunities to get involved in 2023, including standing for election as governor in March, voting for governors to represent you in April-May, and how to find out about events and meetings to meet your governors or to learn about our services. I hope to see you at some of our future meetings!

    Yours sincerely

     Eugine Yafele, Chief Executive Officer"

    February 2023 +

    This month’s Governor report comes from one of our Public Governors for North Somerset.

    “My name is John Rose and I am a Governor at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston (UHBW). I was elected by the UHBW members in the North Somerset region. There are currently 23 Governors (there are a few vacancies, we once had 29!), and we are all volunteers. If you are happy to use a computer or smart phone you can see what we look like on the UHBW website.  If you visit any of the nine hospitals in the UHBW group, you might even spot a poster with our photos on the notice boards. The title “Governor” sounds rather grand, but in fact we are just “members of the public” who want the opportunity to influence decision making at UHBW by reflecting public opinion. Public opinion is actually quite difficult to obtain!  We each have our own experience of treatment, and connections to the communities we live in, but to represent all sectors of our community is a tall order. We do our best. The issues that matter are varied; it isn’t just the quality of clinical care, it is access to it. It may be the ease of getting an appointment, or the difficulties of travel and the time of the appointment. It is the waiting times for emergency help and for planned treatment. It is the timeliness of communications and the wording used. It is the condition of the buildings. It is getting home and recovery.

    Then there is the effect upon UHBW of the new Integrated Care System (ICS) that came into being last July. Its aim is to improve collaboration and communication between all healthcare providers in the area to give you a better service. That means GPs, community care, mental health, and all our hospitals working together. We Governors are meant to keep an eye on how UHBW is working within this system. We need your support and your feedback. It need cost you nothing to help us recognise the issues that matter to you, particularly if you can use email. We are acutely aware that many people don’t use IT, and a letter may be the only way we can learn of an issue that we might not be aware of: we have and continue to receive letters.

    We attend meetings with the Trust almost every month, four a year are in public, and receive information in reports and in presentations. By making our views known via discussion and by formal questions we raise issues that we feel need to be raised, I can report to you that every staff member we have met has responded well to our sometimes quite blunt and difficult questions. We experience a level of openness that makes the work that we do fulfilling and worthwhile. We are not the only volunteers at UHBW. There are many fulfilling roles carried out by volunteers every day, and UHBW are looking for more volunteers and for more members, like yourselves. Your help matters. I would like to invite you to say hello to us at our next Council of Governors meeting in April and find out more about us!"

    January 2023 +

    This month’s Governor report comes from one of our Public Governors for Bristol.

    “My name is Mo Phillips and I have been a governor of University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) for nearly 6 years. A belated Happy New Year to all our readers, including our members, governors, and of course the staff that work at the Trust.

    Governors are mainly tasked with representing the interests of the public and holding the Non-Executive Directors individually and collectively to account for the overall performance of the Trust Board. Recent issues that have been highlighted as concerns to governors are varied, but include patient waiting lists and discharge, mandatory training, staff wellbeing, and estate facilities. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, recovery of both staff and patient waiting lists has been a high priority for the Trust, and these are just a few examples!

    Election planning for new governors is taking place in 2023 and please look out for further updates in February and March. Think about becoming a governor – it’s a fascinating role and we always need new faces round the table. We also have a number of staff governors whose input is invaluable. Becoming a governor provides the opportunity to question and challenge and get answers. Why not give it a go?

    Governors also take part in a variety of activities; Health Matters Events take place regularly and the next one is “The Importance of Vaccine Research” on Thursday, 2nd March 2023 at 5.30pm-7pm online.  More information is available in the newsletter below. Other governors are getting involved with the Trust’s “Recognising Success Awards” for its staff, whilst others take part in recruitment panels for senior appointments. We also attend seminars given by staff from different disciplines so those of us without a medical background get a better understanding of the variety of work and research carried out at UHBW."

    Don’t forget, as Foundation Trust members you can raise issues with the governors who represent you and you can contact the Corporate Governance Team with any further queries you might have around becoming a governor. You can email us at FoundationTrust@UHBW.nhs.uk  or write to us at: Corporate Governance Team, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Trust Headquarters, Marlborough Street, Bristol, BS1 3NU. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Governor Elections 2023

    Thank you to everyone who has been involved in the elections for 2023. 

    A report of voting is available at this link: here. The South Gloucestershire election was uncontested and the notice is available at this link: here

    A Statement of Nominated Candidates is available at this link: here. Our Notice of Poll is available at this link: here. Our Notice of Election is available at this link: here

    For more information about the governor role or the governor elections, please contact the Corporate Governance Team on foundationtrust@uhbw.nhs.uk or call 0117 34 23764.