Governor elections 2024: Candidate’s FAQ

All you need to know about standing for a Governor of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust in 2024

Governor elections 2024: Candidate’s FAQ
Am I qualified to be a governor?

Banner for membership campaign.You don’t need any formal qualifications to be a governor – just your interest and enthusiasm. You must be at least 16 years old and a member of Oxford Health. If you aren’t a member yet you can sign up today. Website: Membership sign up.

Membership is free and anyone at least 12 years old, living in England or Wales, is welcome to join.

You must become a member by March 28 to take part in this year’s election, both as a candidate and to vote.

Where are the vacancies?

We have 18 vacancies in this year’s elections, in the following seats:

Constituency Class Seats
Public Oxfordshire 2
Public Buckinghamshire 3
Public Rest of England & Wales 1
Service user Oxfordshire 4
Service user Buckinghamshire and other counties 3
Service user Carers 1
Staff Mental Health Services Oxfordshire, Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES), Swindon & Wilts 1
Staff Buckinghamshire Mental Health Services 1
Staff Community Health Services Oxfordshire 1
Staff Corporate Services 1
Where can I stand?

You will be able to stand as a candidate and vote in the constituency and class where you are a member. For example, if you have signed up as public member with a postcode starting OX, you can stand as a candidate and vote in the category Public: Oxfordshire.

If you are signed up as a carer, your nomination stands across all the Trust regions and rest of England and Wales.

If you are unsure of your membership status, please email us at FT.MembershipCommunity@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk and we’ll check it for you.

How do I nominate myself?

You will be able to nominate yourself on the nomination website which will launch on February 29. You can complete the nomination online or request a paper copy or an easy read version.

All members in constituencies that have vacancies this year, will receive a Notice of Election when nominations open. We will also publish the nominations on the Trust website, in social media and the press.

The elections is conducted independently from the Trust by an external company Civica who will be able to answer your questions throughout the process.

For queries and the complete your nomination visit the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust Governor election website.

You can also email queries to the membership team at FT.MembershipCommunity@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk.

Nominations close at 5pm on March 28.

What does the nomination need?

Your nomination will ask for a 250-word election statement. This will give your community an idea of what you stand for. Why do you want to become a governor? What aspects of your local health services do you feel strongly about? What do you feel you can most contribute?

Your statement is entirely up to you, but the word limit is strict. You can include a photo of yourself in your election statement and we strongly recommend you do so: it will make you more approachable for the electorate.

To complete your nomination visit the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust Governor election website.

How do I improve my chances?

By far the best way to improve your chances to get elected is to invite your friends and acquaintances to join the Trust – and then encourage them to vote for you!

In order to vote in this year’s elections, they must become members by March 28.

Can I talk to someone about being a governor?

We are running candidate info events (in person and virtually) for people who are interested in becoming a Governor, where you can ask all your questions from people who know. Save the dates in your diary.

In person events:

  • Tuesday 12 March, 3 to 6pm: Wallingford Community Hospital, Oxfordshire.
  •  Wednesday 13 March, 3 to 6pm: Whiteleaf Centre, Buckinghamshire.
  •  Thursday 14 March, 2:30 to 4:30pm: Bicester Community Hospital, Oxfordshire.

Virtual events (via Teams link):

Wednesday 13 March at 10:30am

 Join the event

Wednesday 20 March at 6pm

 Join the event

To complete your nomination visit the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust Governor election website.

What are the key dates?

The key dates in our elections are:

Thursday, February 29         Nominations open

Thursday, March 28            Nominations close

Tuesday, April 2              Summary of candidates published

Monday, April 22              Polls open

Friday, May 17               Polls close

Monday, May 20                Declaration of results

What happens after the poll?

Once the governor election results are declared, all newly elected governors are invited to undertake fit and proper checks and take part in the governor induction.

The inductions will take place during the first two weeks of June prior to the Council of Governors meeting on 12 June 2024.

Governors are expected to provide a short biography and a photograph to be published on the Trust website – this enables governors to be accessible to those who elected them.

Governors will then officially take their posts on 1 June 2024. Governors are elected for terms of three years, although can resign at any time.

How much time do I need to put in?

The Council of Governors meets four times a year, usually on a Thursday from 5.30pm to 7.30pm – meetings are a mix of in-person meetings and online meetings. As a governor you are expected to attend these meetings, although we understand it is sometimes not possible for everyone to make every meeting. Agendas are sent to you in advance to enable you to prepare for the meeting and see what is set to be discussed.

Oxford Health also has a Governor Forum, which takes place in the weeks prior to each Council meeting. The Forum is an opportunity for governors to discuss issues in a more informal setting and to plan what to bring to the Council meetings.

We also expect governors to join at least one governor sub-group and, on a rota basis, observe at least one Board of Directors meeting and one Board sub-committee a year. In the governor sub-groups, you can get a much more in-depth view of various areas of the Trust governance. The sub-groups are:

  • Safety and Clinical Effectiveness
  • Patient and Carer Experience
  • Staff Experience
  • Membership & Involvement

Sub-groups meet four times a year. They are chaired by a governor, and agenda and papers are sent to you in advance.

Will I get paid?

The governor role is an unpaid public service role, similar to that of a school governor. Reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.

What’s in it for me?

For many people, contributing to causes they find meaningful is rewarding in and of itself. As a governor you will also get the opportunity to learn new skills and get exposed to new situations. It could be getting more confident in public speaking, meeting like-minded people or simply liaising as equals with the kind of people you never have collaborated with before.

Above all, you will have a chance to shape your local health services.

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Published: 27 February 2024