Lead governor shares star moments with staff

Friday November 16, 2018

The trust’s lead governor John Thompson finished his two-year tenure of the governing body this week, passing the mantle of responsibility on to Roger Hammond, public governor for Worthing.

John began as lead governor in 2016 by sharing “two stars and a wish” and, as his 24 months leading the council of governors concludes, he is again sharing his highlights and reflections in the same way.

John said: “My first star is the shining example of all the staff at Western Sussex Hospitals. Wherever I go in the hospitals I am greeted with warmth and smiling faces, with everyone willing to offer ideas, opinions, help and support.”

As a member of the Patient First STAR Awards judging panel, John also read scores of nominations which similarly emphasised how widespread our caring and attentive ethos is throughout the organisation.

His second “star” moment came soon after he started as lead, when the council decided to support the joint management proposals between the trust and neighbouring Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals.

John said: “Tremendous progress has been achieved at BSUH over the last couple of years and that is testament to the senior leadership team of our trust.

“It has also been great to see staff at Western Sussex embrace the opportunities that have flowed from the arrangement and to know that all patients are benefitting from the improvements at BSUH.”

John’s “wish” is to see more members of the public engaging with the trust, however, he appreciates that most people living locally are in fact confident their hospitals are in safe hands.

He said: “The fact that relatively few members of the public attend Public Board and Council of Governor meetings demonstrates the success of the trust but it of course remains disappointing not to see greater interest.”
In addition, John hoped more members of the public, as well as staff, would put themselves forward to join the Council of Governors and that governor elections would receive greater support.

John said: “Being a trust governor can be incredibly rewarding – we work most effectively with the trust and especially the non-executive directors, holding them to account in a very constructive way, while expressing the concerns of members or asking challenging questions of the trust.”

John is now looking forward to assisting new lead governor Roger Hammond, having agreed to stay on as his deputy for one year. He replaces his own deputy, trust governor Jill Long, whose support and service John wishes to acknowledge and say thank you for as she too finishes her two-year term.

Meanwhile, John has also been re-elected as a public governor for Arun for another three years. He said: “As well as serving as Roger’s deputy for a while, I plan to be more involved with membership and hope to attract more younger people to join our outstanding NHS Foundation Trust.”

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