Council of Governors

Council of Governors

Who are the Council of Governors?

The Trust currently has 18 Governors in post and 8 vacancies which we hope to fill in 2024 Governor elections.

  • The current membership and area each governor represents is available to view here. 
  • The interests declared by members of the Council of Governors for 2023/2024 can be viewed here.

The Council of Governors profiles are available here

Council of Governors Meetings

The Trust's next Public Council of Governors meeting is Wednesday 3 July 2024, Face to Face, papers will be uploaded one week prior the meeting below:

Wednesday 3 July 2024 — Council of Governor Papers

All members of the public and foundation Trust members are welcome to join via MS Teams, please contact  for the meeting link. If you would like to attend in person please register your interest to ensure we have arrangements in place for you such as dietary requirements and parking. 

Please find future Council of Governor Meeting dates below, please note these may change but we'll be sure to update the dates here for your information:

Table of council of governors meeting dates
Date Time Location
14 March 2024 12:40 -15:00

Taunton Rugby Club, Veritas Park, Hyde Lane, Taunton TA2 8BU

3 July 2024 12:30 -15:00 Health Innovation South West, Vantage Point, Pynes Hill, Exeter, Devon EX2 5FD
18 September 2024 12:30 -15:00 Monks Yard, Horton Manor, Horton Cross, Ilminster TA19 9PY
4 December 2024 12:30 -15:00 Monks Yard, Horton Manor, Horton Cross, Ilminster TA19 9PY 
5 March 2025 12:30 -15:00 TBC

Download your historic Public Council of Governors Meeting Papers below from 2023-24:

Please find a copy of Public papers which you are able to download below. New papers will be uploaded one week prior to the meeting:

All Public Council of Governors Papers from 2016 on wards are archived, you can access them by following this link - Archived Public Council of Governors Papers


If you have any queries please contact the team via email on

Governor Elections

Governor Nominations will open at the end of the year 2024.

Make a difference on the issues that matter to them.

The Trust will be running Governor Elections with nominations opening around October/November 2024, a full timeline will be published soon. This page will have all the information you need to know, from when to apply, how to vote and if your eligible. 

Governor Vacancies

The Trust has the following vacancies which are included within this round of elections - if you live in these areas and are a Trust Member you will be eligible to stand, term of office will range from one to three years and will be confirmed soon:

Please note Appointed Governors do not have to be included within Governor Elections, if you are interested in these seats please contact

Governor Vacancies
Public - Somerset and North Somerset  Two vacancies available 
Public - Dorset  One vacancy available 
Public - Bristol Bath and North East Somerset Two vacancies available 
Public - Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire Two vacancies available 
Public - Wiltshire and Swindon One vacancy available 
Staff  - A&E South and West Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly One vacancy available 
Appointed - Integrated Care Boards One vacancy available 
Appointed - Local Authorities  One vacancy available 
Appointed - Youth One vacancy available 

Election Timeline

The Trust will publish the Election timeline below one complete: 

Election Timeline
Election stage Timetable
Nominations open  tbc
Nominations close  tbc
Final date for candidate withdrawal  tbc
Elections open   tbc
Close of elections  tbc
Declaration of results   tbc

If you are interested in the Governor elections or want more information please contact Corrie Payne via 


What is the Council of Governors?

What is the Council of Governors?

The Council of Governors (CoG) represents the views of local communities, staff and stakeholders and has a duty to hold the Non-Executive Directors individually and collectively to account for the performance of the Board of Directors. This includes ensuring the Board of Directors acts to that the Trust does not breach the conditions of its Foundation Trust licence. It remains the responsibility of the Board of Directors to design and then implement agreed priorities, objectives and the overall strategy of the Trust.  

The majority of Governors are elected into their role by the Trust's public and staff membership, the remaining Governors are appointed by partner organisations such as Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local authorities, to ensure that their views are represented.

The Council of Governors has 26 members:

  • 16 Public Governors
  • 6 Staff Governors
  • 4 Appointed Governors

Governors are responsible for representing the interests of the Trust's Members, the public and the staff. Governors must act in the best interests of the Trust's and should adhere to the Trust's Values and  Governors Code of Conduct.

Governors are responsible for regularly feeding back information about the Trust, its vision and its performance to Trust Members, the public and the stakeholder organisations that either elected or appointed them. The Trust ensures Governors have appropriate support to help them discharge this duty.

Legislation provides governors with statutory responsibilities and more details about their roles can be found here.

What is the Council of Governors role?

The Council of Governors have various statutory roles and responsibilities:

  • Appoint and, if appropriate, remove the Chair
  • Appoint and, if appropriate, remove the other Non-Executive Directors
  • Decide the remuneration and allowances and other terms and conditions of office of the Chair and the other Non-Executive Directors
  • Approve (or not) any new appointment of a Chief Executive
  • Appoint and, if appropriate, remove the NHS Foundations Trust's auditor
  • Receive the NHS Foundation Trust's annual account, any report of the auditor on them, and the annual report at a general meeting of the Council of Governors
  • Hold Non-Executive Directors, individually and collectively, to account for the performance of the Board of Directors
  • Represent the interests of the members of the Trust as a whole and the interests of the public
  • Approve 'significant transactions'
  • Approve an application by the Trust to enter into a merger, acquisition, separation or dissolution
  • Decide whether the Trust's non-NHS work would significantly interfere with its  principal purpose, which is to provide goods and services for the health service in England, or performing its other functions
  • Approve amendments to the Trust's constitution.

Lead and Deputy Lead Governors

Monitor requested that all NHS Foundation Trusts to nominate a 'Lead Governor' at the Trust's Annual Members Meeting Governors are given the opportunity to nominate themselves forward for the position of Lead or Deputy Lead Governor, there is then a ballot where Governors are elected.

The Council of Governors current Lead Governor is Luke March, from the Wiltshire and Swindon constituency and Deputy Lead is Steve Manning, from Isles of Scilly constituency. The Council of Governors will nominate and vote for Lead and Deputy Lead Governors at the upcoming Annual Members Meeting on 18 September 2024. 

Governor Testimonies 

Torquil MacInnes, Public Governor Wiltshire and Swindon, 2014-2022

You get as much out of the job as you put in. If you don't read the papers and keep informed then you risk just being a bystander not knowing what is happening or waste everyone else's time by asking questions that have been covered elsewhere. Also remember that it is not your job to ask the executives what they are doing, that is the job of the non-executive directors. It is your job to ensure the NEDs are doing theirs. Although it is tempting to ask the executives for details of what is going on, you should really ask the NEDs do they think the execs are taking the right steps, what have they done to assure themselves etc. You need to assure yourself that you believe the NEDs are on the case. Don't worry if you don't get your head around the job initially. It takes time.

Membership Engagement

Our Membership engagement Strategy sets out our commitment for engagement with our Foundation Trust members and the communities we serve. Their involvement is important in helping us to achieve our Trust vision that together, we will deliver the best care when you need us most. By ‘engagement’ we mean who we will communicate with, how we will do so and when.

Implementation of the Membership engagement strategy is overseen by our Council of Governors. We have developed this strategy based on good practice from other Foundation Trusts, national guidance, statutory and regulatory requirements, and feedback from our governors. It supports the delivery of the overall 2023-2028 Trust Strategy.

Our membership engagement strategy can be found here: Membership Engagement Strategy 2024-2027