The Council of Governors meet eight times a year in public session to hold the Board to account and discuss the role of the Governors. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting, involving Staff, Partner and Public Governors, the minutes of which are available our public site by clicking here.

The last meeting was held on Wednesday 12th December in the Trust’s Education Centre. Our Staff Governor for All Other Staff, Emma Bradley (right) sits alongside Paul Whitehouse representing Allied Health Professionals, Pharmacists and Scientists, Janice Smith who represents Nursing and Midwifery colleagues and Mark Luscombe who of Staff Governor for Medical and Dental colleagues. Here is her account of the latest Council of Governors meeting.

“Our last council of governors meeting was in the midst of December and, in the spirit of the season, it was full of celebration.


“The Choir@TheRoyal started things off with a festive rendition of some well-known carols which the governors and executives were encouraged to sing along to by our dedicated choir master. The meeting was part of the choir’s busy agenda in the run up to Christmas as they delighted patients, visitors and staff around the hospital.  


“Our Chair, Helen Phillips, then proceeded to bid a fond farewell to Ruth Grice, Sue Bean and Alan Craw, Public Governors that were standing down at the end of their terms, their enthusiasm and expertise will be greatly missed.  In her farewell speech Ruth, who served nine years as public governor, noted how far the council had come in its diversity. She pointed out that when she was elected to her seat, she was the only female Public Governor and the second to have a disability. In the current climate that is something to be celebrated.

“We then moved on to official business in the form of feedback from Helen regarding Trust performance which was cause for more celebration. Appraisal completion is up,  the staff survey return rate is a record 71%, our staff flu vaccination take up amongst front line staff was at 82.75 % at the time of the meeting and our Emergency Department is regularly in the country’s top ten in terms of its four hour wait. Whilst these achievements were welcomed, as a Council we were keen to ensure that they were sustainable results and not to the detriment of the workforce.  


“What followed was an insightful presentation from Chief Operations officer, Tony Campbell. It encompassed our most recent and proposed future investments in terms of capital projects and site development. It was great to see how many changes the hospital has undergone in the last few years from the Theatre upgrade and new CT/MRI scanners to ward upgrades and an extension in medical records. I took two things from Tony’s presentation, the first was that the Board had recognised the lack of investment in non-patient areas, something that may feature more in the years to come, and secondly it was that different departments, clinicians and patients had worked together to achieve integrated services and developments that were fit for purpose.


“We then had an update from Chief Executive Simon Morritt about the wider issues affecting the NHS, from the amalgamation of the region’s Clinical Commissioning Groups to the pushing back of the government’s publication of the anticipated ten year plan for the NHS; both topics will have implications for the future of our hospital.


“For me, the main theme I took from Simon, and the meeting in general, was that working together is the key to success. Be it with your colleagues, departments across the division or services on site and across the county, if we are all on the same path then we stand a better chance of achieving our ultimate aim of an ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission.


“To conclude the meeting we said our final farewell of the year to Medical Director Gail Collins. She is stepping down from her role on the Board but we’ll still her around the hospital as she concentrates on her clinical role within Paediatrics here at the Royal.”

The next Council of Governors meeting will take place in Lecture Room A and B of the Education Centre, here at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital, from 1.30 to 4.00pm on Wednesday 6th February.