NHS trusts seek members of the public to step up as governors and hold health bosses to account

Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington
Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington -Credit:Newcastle Chronicle

People across the North East have the chance to play a vital role holding our hospital bosses to account.

Both the Northumbria Healthcare and South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Trusts are urging members of the public to come forward and run to be a member of their respective councils of governors. This means you'd be a voice for local people and in a position to ensure NHS boards perform well.

The Northumbria Trust runs hospitals from Berwick and Hexham to North Tyneside, while South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal fall under the management of the South Tyneside and Sunderland trust. Both also run a range of community services.

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Governors are sought to fill a range of geographically-based constituencies. Northumbria Healthcare has 20 vacancies, while South Tyneside and Sunderland is looking for nine public governors and two staff governors.

Northumbria Healthcare's board chair, Sir Paul Ennals, said getting involved as a governor is a "perfect opportunity" to get more involved in supporting the NHS. He said: "Our governors act as the voice of residents and forge links with the communities we serve, ensuring that people’s views are front and centre of decisions that are made.

"“Even if you decide not to run for governor this time round, we would still welcome your participation as a member of the trust. You can sign up quickly online and choose how much or little you want to get involved.

"There is also our Have Your Say forum which allows us to seek views, test ideas and communication material, and actively involve the wider public in our strategy. It’s free to join and you can get involved through discussions, polls and surveys."

In Northumbria, there are vacancies across the area. These are split as follows: Berwick-upon-Tweed (4), Blyth Valley (4), North West Tyneside (1), Wallsend (2), North Shields (1), Whitley Bay (2), and the rest of England (1). Nominations must be completed by May 15.

In South Tyneside and Sunderland, governors are sought from both areas themselves, along with those who live in County Durham and Gateshead. An out-of-area governor is also required - who could live in North Tyneside, Newcastle, Northumberland, the Tees Valley or Cumbria. The latter trust's closing date for nominations is May 7.

To find out more about the opportunities at Northumbria click here and at South Tyneside and Sunderland click here.