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Volunteer to help improve and shape local health services


To coincide with national Volunteers Week, the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) is today calling for interested members of the public to give some of their time to support the NHS locally by putting their names forward to be elected as a Governor.


Governors play a vitally important role within the RD&E, providing a direct connection between the Trust, the community it serves and its partners.  Existing RD&E Governors have a wide variety of experiences and backgrounds but they share a real passion for helping to shape local health services in a way that best meets the needs of patients and the public.


The RD&E is currently looking for people who would be interested in standing as a candidate to fill one of 14 prospective vacancies on the Trust’s Council of Governors. Vacancies are available for one, two or three year terms, and applications are accepted from members of the public, patients and members of staff at the RD&E. Governors are elected on their merits by the 20,000 strong members of the Trust – made up of the public and RD&E staff. Governor elections take place during July and August 2019 and successful candidates will take up their role during September. The elections process involves interested prospective candidates setting out in writing why their experience and background would make them an effective governor. The elections are carried out on a non-party political basis.


As a group, the role of Governors is to:

  • Represent the interests and views of local people and feed these back to the Board
  • Hold the Non-Executive Directors to account for the performance of the Trust’s Board
  • Approve the appointment of Non-Executive Directors and the Chair
  • Reflect information about the Trust back to the communities it serves.

James Brent, RD&E Chairman, said: “Governors play a hugely important role at the RD&E, and across the NHS. The NHS faces challenging times ahead and our Governors will continue to play a pivotal part in ensuring the voices of the communities we serve are truly represented. We therefore strongly encourage people, from a range of different backgrounds, to consider putting themselves forward to take part in the 2019 RD&E Governor elections”.


Peta Foxall, Lead Governor, said, “Being a Governor at the RD&E is very rewarding and is well supported by RD&E staff. It is an enjoyable voluntary role that enables the Governors to work together to ensure that the voice of the patient and the community is properly represented right at the heart of the RD&E. Standing for election is important because that gives you a mandate to speak on behalf of the people you represent.”


She added, “We are really proud of the fact that, as a group of Governors, we have had significant influence in improving services delivered by the RD&E over time.”


Governor roles at the RD&E are non-paid, voluntary positions (although expenses are paid). The RD&E will be holding two Prospective Governor Meetings and three “meet a governor” drop-in sessions for those who are interested in serving their NHS and making a difference. To attend any of the sessions and for more information about becoming a Governor, please visit


Added 3 June 2019

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