Council of Governors

Council of Governors

Every NHS Foundation Trust has public and staff governors to represent the views of its local people and to help the Trust shape its plans for the future.

There are 31 governors in total and they are elected by staff and the public or are nominated by our partner organisations, eg local primary care trusts and councils.

The role of the elected public governors is to represent the views of Foundation Trust members and to help shape the direction of the organisation.

They form the majority on the Trust’s Council of Governors, which has responsibility for:

  • holding the Directors to account
  • overseeing the appointment, remuneration and performance monitoring of the Chairman and Non-Executive Directors of the NHS Foundation Trust
  • approving the appointment of the Chief Executive

The governors work with the Trust’s Board of Directors (which is responsible for the day-to-day running of the hospital and its strategic development) to ensure that the NHS Foundation Trust acts in a way that is consistent with its constitution and objectives and to help set the Trust’s strategic direction.

Governors also meet with people in their local community or staff group to listen to feedback and ideas and to update them on what happens at Council of Governor meetings.

Becoming a governor

If you are a member of the NHS Foundation Trust you have the right, if you wish, to stand for election to the Council of Governors or apply for appointment as a non-executive director – including the chair – of the NHS Foundation Trust.

There are some exclusions to standing for election as a governor, which are fully described in the Constitution. They include recent conviction as a criminal, bankruptcy or recent dismissal from the NHS. Governors should show commitment to the role and act in the best interests of the Trust. Governors will also be expected to declare political affiliations and financial interests as part of the nomination process.


About a third of the public member representative seats on the Council of Governors come up for election each year. The elections are held in each of our local constituencies – Torbay, Teignbridge and South Hams and Plymouth (eastern area). They usually take place in the autumn, and the successful candidates take up their seats on the Council of Governors in the spring.

Terms of office

At the first elections, held in 2006, candidates were elected for all the public member representative seats on the Council of Governors. Those polling the highest proportion of the votes (under proportional representation) were elected for a three year term, a third were elected for a two-year term, and the remaining third for a one-year term. When the seats come up for election again, the successful candidates will each be elected to serve for three years.

Council of Governors’ meetings

The Council of Governors usually meets four times a year, including its annual members’ meeting held in the autumn. The meetings can be attended by members of the public as observers.

Governors are required to give prior notice to the Chairman of any items they wish to raise at the Council of Governors’ meetings. Anyone wishing to raise a topic should do so via the Foundation Trust Office, details below. Details of your governors can be found on our ‘Meet your Governors‘ page. Names of governors can also be found on the independent regulator’s website. Contact with a governor should be addressed to them at the following address:

Foundation Trust Office
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Hengrave House
Torbay Hospital
Torquay TQ2 7AA

Tel: 01803 655705
Email: Foundation Trust Office

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