12,000 people set to vote in hospital election

From today nearly 12,000 local people are set to vote in the first election held at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust.

The trust is planning to become an NHS Foundation Trust later this year and a new Council of Governors is being set up to give local people and employees a greater say in the future of the organisation. Over 150 candidates have put themselves forward for election to 21 seats on the Council of Governors. From today (3 March), ballot papers are being sent out to members of the Trust, which includes employees and local people who have joined the Trust as members since recruitment began seven months ago.

David Prior, Chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust, said: “This is an important milestone for the Trust and we are delighted to have received so much interest from local people and staff. The Governors will have a very important role to play in shaping the future of our hospitals and we have got off to a great start by having such a strong field of candidates.”

To date, the Trust has recruited 6,400 public members of the Trust and 5,500 staff members who will all receive ballot papers and have the opportunity to vote for the Governors who will represent them. The Council of Governors will have a stewardship role, influencing the future of services. It also has statutory powers, such as appointing the Chairman, Non-Executive Directors and auditors.

The election ends on March 20 with the results announced after the Easter holiday on 25 March.

Over the next few months, the Trust will be assessed by Monitor, the independent regulator for NHS Foundation Trusts. It could be authorised as an NHS Foundation Trust in May if Monitor is satisfied that all the criteria for authorisation have been met. The Trust is still actively recruiting for more members to ensure that local people have a say in local services. To join, either go online at www.nnuh.nhs.uk or ring 0870 707 1628 for a membership form.

For further information on the election or to view the Notice of Poll containing the list of election candidates, go to www.nnuh.nhs.uk/page/ft

Monday 3rd of March 2008 10:00:25 AM