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Norman Shaw won his seat as public governor for Chesterfield in December last year so, as he comes to the end of his first year on the Council of Governors, we asked him for a few words to find out how he feels his first 12 months have gone…

“I have been a public governor for almost a year and it was a real honour to be asked to speak on behalf of the Council of Governors at this year’s Annual General Meeting about the work we do.

“It’s great to be involved in the hospital and find out more about how it operates, how the people work here and the amount of effort that goes into patient care across the building. I’ve not worked in health before so it’s been interesting for me to learn more about the terminology, which departments do what and how the teams interact with each other. It’s been a steep learning curve but one that I’ve enjoyed and look forward to finding out more.

“It’s important for us all to work together and I’ve seen lots of examples of this happening. A lot was said at the Annual Members Meeting about working towards becoming a hospital that delivers ‘Outstanding’ care, and to be rated as such by the Care Quality Commission. I believe that the only way we can do that is by working together to make things as good as they can be for the patient experience.

“As governors, when we visit wards and departments we’re not there to criticise or point out inadequacies, we’re there to try and make things better. If there’s something that we believe can be improved then we’ll highlight that. That’s what I mean by working together, it’s about learning and making things better.

“It’s up to all of us to make this commitment, so that when the CQC come for their inspection, those things that we may have pointed out or highlighted have been addressed. That’s why I believe we carry out an important duty, by representing you as members of the Trust, to help this hospital be the best that it can be.”