22 February 2013

People wanting to help shape the future of their local ambulance service only have a few days left to put themselves forward for election as a foundation trust Governor.

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) was the first ambulance service in the country to become an NHS foundation trust in March 2011. On 1 February this year, it took on the staff and services of neighbouring Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) to create a single ambulance trust serving the whole south-west of England.

Part of that development will see SWASFT’s existing 31-strong council of Governors grow temporarily to 47 with the election of 16 new Governors – 11 public and five staff Governors – representing the former GWAS region.

The public Governors will represent Bath & North East Somerset (one vacancy), Bristol (two vacancies), Gloucestershire (three vacancies), North Somerset (one vacancy), South Glos (one vacancy), Swindon (one vacancy) and Wiltshire (two vacancies).

The five staff Governors will represent will each represent staff across the former GWAS region working in accident & emergency services, patient transport services, urgent care services, volunteers, and administration & support.

Nominations for the new Governors close on 1 March, with elections by postal ballot taking place from 25 March to 17 April.

The Governors are elected by trust members – as part of the acquisition process, recruitment events have been held throughout the former GWAS region, resulting in 4,000 so far signing up to become members of the enlarged trust.

Governors play an important role in monitoring an NHS foundation trust’s performance and holding its board of directors to account. The Council of Governors is made up of public and staff Governors elected from Trust members, plus appointed Governors who represent partner organisations such as other healthcare providers and the emergency services.

SWASFT Chairman Heather Strawbridge said: “Our Council of Governors are the guardians of the trust and make a unique contribution to its future development and success. Governors are a vital link between the trust and its members, staff, stakeholders and wider public, ensuring that the voices of those they represent are heard at the highest level in the trust.

“The views of members help inform the development of the future strategy and direction of the trust.  As well as putting forward their views Governors also have responsibilities for holding the board to account for achieving its strategic aims and targets.”

More information about becoming a trust member and Governor is available via

Nomination forms for Governors can be obtained from:

John Box

Electoral Reform Services

The Election Centre

33 Clarendon Road


N8 0NW

Telephone 0208 889 9203


The closing date for nominations to be with ERS is 1 March 2013.

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