Claire Terry shares her experiences of being a Trust Governor | News

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Claire Terry shares her experiences of being a Trust Governor

Nominations for our Council of Governors are now open and the Trust is seeking Governors for a variety of important positions to represent patients, staff, partner organisations and the wider public. 

Governors play a hugely important role in helping shape our plans and ensuring the needs of our women, children, families and staff are fully considered in everything we do. 

The Council of Governors is made up of elected and appointed people who are volunteers and are not paid. Their role is to hold the Non-Executive Directors individually and collectively to account for the performance of the Board of Directors and to represent the interests of NHS Foundation Trust Members and of the public. 

We spoke to Claire Terry, our Lead Governor, to find out more about her experience. She said: “I was initially a Governor at the Women’s Hospital, becoming a Governor for the joint organisation in 2017.  

“I was keen to do some voluntary work that would give back to the community and thought that the Governor role at a hospital looked really interesting and would be a great way to do this." 

“Our Governors have an important role in making sure our Trust is publicly accountable for the services it provides, bringing valuable perspectives and contributions to its activities; ensuring our Trust works well for patients, carers, staff and the general public." 

“One of the really great things about the Governors here at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s is that they are such a varied group of people and are a good representation of the communities that the Trust serves. Our Governors have a wide range of experiences and are a great mixture of people including teenagers and university students, professionals, stay at home parents and carers and retirees.” 

No special skills are needed to be a Governor.  The most important part of the role is to have a passion for representing the interests of people who use or work in the NHS and to be committed to our Trust values of being Ambitious, Brave and Compassionate. 

Claire, who works as a Senior Business Development Manager for a large law firm, added: “For me, one of the most interesting aspects of the role is going on walkabouts in the Trust, being able to see behind the scenes of certain areas, such as the Neonatal Unit, meeting both staff and parents; hearing what they have to say. 

“I have found that the most rewarding part of my role as a Governor is being able to have the opportunity to meet and speak to so many different people about the workings of a hospital and as a group of Governors asking questions to hold the Non-Executive Directors to account. It's fair to say there is often healthy debate on a variety of topics concerning the Trust." 

“If you’re considering being a Governor, I would definitely say ‘give it a go’. It is a really important and interesting role and a great way to have an involvement in something that gives back to the Women, Children and families the Trust cares for and supports.”  

We ask Governors to commit to around three hours every month to the position, mainly in the evening, and be available to attend four formal council meetings a year. No experience is necessary - full support, guidance and training are given by our Company Secretary team. 

To find out how to make a nomination please see our Notice of Election 2020. All nominations should be received by 5pm on Friday 11 September 2020. 

For more information on our Council of Governors visit our dedicated section on our website  

If you would like more information on the positions available, the election process, or for an informal chat please contact our Foundation Trust Office by email bwc.foundationtrustoffice@nhs.net or by calling 0121 333 8433 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 4.30pm).