As well as governors directly elected by our trust members, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust has governors who are appointed by partner and stakeholder organisations that we work closely with. This month we are pleased to welcome Angela Macpherson who has been appointed as a trust governor by Buckinghamshire Council.
She is deputy leader of the council and cabinet member with responsibility for adult social care.
“It was seen as a good fit because our council has an agreement with Oxford Health about the provision of mental health services. So despite an already challenging workload,I am very happy to be a governor and really interested in mental health provision, especially now with Covid and the increase in people representing with mental health issues,” she says.
Her role as a councillor and the portfolio of adult social care with a budget of nearly £150 million is pretty much a full-time role.
“On the top of that my local area, Grendon and Underwood, which I represent, is a beleaguered area,” she describes.
“It’s a lovely rural area which I Iove very much, full of little villages. Many of them are being affected by the HS2, the high-speed railway route which is going straight through them,” she explains.
“The work is starting in earnest now and there’s just so much going on. Lot’s of vegetation is being stripped away; ancient woodland and endangered species, all things that I hold very dear. I am just incredibly busy with all of that,” she says.
“Also, if you have any heart at all it will affect you emotionally,” she adds.
Although it is early days in the governor role, Angela is clear about her interests.
“I’m keen to know about what Covid has done in terms of the impact on people’s mental health; I’d like to understand about issues around suicide and how our trust is working on suicide prevention, and I’m keen to know more about mental health provision for young people. There are so many things to find out as I’m new,” she says.
She is also keen to fly the flag for Buckinghamshire at the Council of Governors and to the board.
“I have a feeling that Oxford Health maybe somewhat Oxfordshire-centred organisation (the name doesn’t help!) and I would hope that as a governor I would be able to bring some interest and influence from Buckinghamshire. But I need to get my feet under the table and learn more about the organisation before I can promote it,” she says.
If Angela ever gets any free time, her favourite way to spend it is to escape to places of wilderness like the Highlands in Scotland.
“It’s the absolute love of mine, to just walk and breathe the air,” she says.
“Back in the day before Covid that is what I and my husband used to do, in Scotland or in places like Italy. But I am not keen to get on a plane now.”
Angela muses that time permitting, she would probably paint, or play piano – but in reality, councillor’s work is now totally absorbing.
“The reason I became a councillor is that I have a real passion for the community I represent. I know that’s what everyone says! But when you start looking at the things that impact on the community, like HS2, and you realise how unhappy people are, but on the other hand, how people in the little villages have pulled together during Covid – that’s the kind of stuff that floats my boat.”
You can contact Angela and all the trust governors by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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