Council of Governors

Council of Governors

Who are the Council of Governors?

The Trust currently has 13 Governors in post and 18 vacancies which we hope to fill in 2023 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.

You can view the Council of Governors profiles broken down by constituency below:




Council of Governors Meetings

The Trust's next Public Council of Governors meeting is Thursday 29 June 2023, Face to Face. Please find the papers below:

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
20 April 2023 1000-1200 Bristol
29 June 2023 1000-1230 Exeter
14 September 2023 1000-1200 TBC
13 December 2023 1000-1230 TBC
14 March 2024 1000-1200 TBC


Download your Public Council of Governors Meeting Papers 2022 below:

Please find a copy of Public papers from 2021-2022 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

Approved Council of Governors Minutes 2020-21 below:

Approved public minutes will be available to download below (please note due to COVID signed minutes are being delayed)


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

Governor Elections

Governor Nominations will open 15 June 2023!

Make a difference on the issues that matter to them

The Trust will be running Governor Elections with nominations opening 15 June 2023. 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:

Governor Vacancies
Public - Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset  One vacancy 
Public - Cornwall One vacancy
Public - Devon Three vacancies
Public - Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire Three vacancies
Public - Somerset and North Somerset One vacancy
Public - Wiltshire and Swindon One vacancy
Staff - Volunteers  One vacancy

Election Timeline

The Trust is pleased to share the election timetable with you below:

Election Timeline
Election stage Timetable
Nominations open 15 June 2023
Nominations close 14 July 2023
Final date for candidate withdrawal 18 July 2023
Elections open  3 August 2023
Close of elections 30 August 2023
Declaration of results  31 August 2023 

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

Poster encouraging people to become a Trust Governor

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 32 members:

  • 19 Public Governors
  • 6 Staff Governors
  • 7 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 Deputy Lead Governor is Luke March, from the Wiltshire and Swindon constituency. The Council of Governors are pending nominations for Lead Governor to be announced on the 15th December 2022.

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.