Foundation Trust Membership

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is part of a membership organisation called a Foundation Trust, inviting patients, their families and the public to be directly involved in improving what we do.

What does it mean to be a member?

Members are people who sign up to Foundation Trust and can inform the decision making across the Trust through their elected Council of Governors. This happens because as a Foundation Trust, we work by answering to the voices of our members so that we can deliver better patient, public and staff engagement. This helps us to make sure we can represent the views of everyone to make GOSH a better place.

If you are 10 years old or even older and live in England or Wales, that means you can sign up to become one of our members! Since 2012, we have recruited more than 9,000 members, around 1,000 of whom are young people and you can join us too.

Our members include patients and their families and carers, the general public and staff. 

What kinds of things can a member be involved in?

Becoming a member doesn't need to take up lots of your time. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, whether you have 10 minutes or 3 hours to spare - use the drop downs below to see: 

In 10 minutes...

As one of our Foundation Trust members you can contribute as much or as little as you wish.

If you have 10 minutes and would like to get involved and help shape the future of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), you can:

  • Take part in short online surveys
  • Email your Governor if you have any feedback or ideas that you would like to share
  • Help to recruit new members. We would like more young members and their families to join the Trust so please encourage your family and friends to sign up and help the hospital plan for the future.
  • Receive Health Service discounts. Benefit from a range of NHS discounts and healthcare staff benefits by signing up as a Foundation Trust member on the Health Service discounts website.

In 2 hours...

If you have 2 hours and would like to get involved and help shape the future of Great Ormond Street Hospital, you can:

  • Meet your Governor if you have any feedback or ideas that you would like to share, or if you would like to find out what it’s like to be a Governor. Please email foundation@gosh.nhs.uk and let us know which Governor you would like to meet. Your Governors are also available to meet prior to every Council of Governors' meeting and at the Annual General Meeting
  • Attend a Council of Governors' meeting as an observer. The Council brings the views and interests of the public, patients, parents and carers, our staff and other stakeholders into the heart of our governance. This group of committed individuals have an essential involvement with the Trust and contribute to its’ work and future developments in order to help improve the quality of services and care for all our patients. Council of Governors' meetings are open to the public and are held five times a year. If you have a question you would like your representative to raise on your behalf, please email foundation@gosh.nhs.uk
  • Attend the Annual General Meeting and Annual Members’ Meeting. This meeting is a great opportunity for members to hear from Trust Directors on the performance of the Trust. The Trust reflects on its activities, challenges and achievements over the last financial year. There is a presentation of the annual report and accounts and the Trust outlines its plans for the year ahead. The Council of Governors also presents at the meeting
  • Volunteer for us. With support, you will get the opportunity to approach and speak with parents, carers and patients in specified areas of the hospital with a friendly, welcoming face and encourage them to sign up to become a member and help shape the hospital’s future. to find out more please email foundation@gosh.nhs.uk
  • You can also volunteer for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity - find out more here
  • Join our Young People’s ForumAre you a patient or have you ever been a patient at GOSH? You may even have a brother or sister at the hospital or would like to learn more about the hospital and how it is run. If you are aged between 10 and 21 years, why not join our Young People's Forum. It's aimed at helping us to improve in areas such as dignity and respect and to provide age-appropriate activities and entertainment for our teenage patients
    • The forum will give you a real say in improving the hospital's services. You will learn new skills, have the opportunity to build your confidence, improve your communication skills and meet other people. Most importantly, you will be helping to make sure that GOSH provides its patients with the best experience it possibly can
    • If you are interested or would like to find out more, please email Amy at ypf.member@gosh.nhs.uk with your name, age, and a few sentences explaining what you feel you could contribute to the forum and what you are hoping to get out of joining it
  • Take part in a focus group. Great Ormond Street Hospital often has opportunities for parents and carers, former or current patients or just people who care about GOSH to give us their honest feedback both on a range of key hospital services.

In 3 hours...

If you have three hours and would like to get involved and help shape the future of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), you can:

  • Become a Foundation Trust Governor and help shape the hospital’s future. This is an important role and we are looking for committed people with relevant experience, who will help fulfil the important role of the Council. It is a great opportunity to contribute to the future of the Trust. To find out more about the role, please contact the Membership and Relationship Manager at foundation@gosh.nhs.uk 
  • Join us at charity engagement events and even become a charity ambassador for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Charity ambassadors organise fundraising activities, represent the Charity in their local area and help to engage people with the work of the hospital. Find out more here.
  • Become a place assessor at GOSH. Would you like to help us improve our patients experience? PLACE (Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment) are held annually to assess how our environment is meeting the needs of our patients. An average day consists of visiting 4-5 wards where you'll be asked to assess things from cleanliness, to privacy of our patients. You will be asked to taste the food we serve our patients, receive full training on how to audit, and be asked for feedback to help improve the experience that our patients have. We actively encourage young people to volunteer to be assessors. Please note, you cannot apply if you currently work at GOSH, or have worked at GOSH in the last two years. If you are interested or would like to find out more, please email Anna Aleixes Soares, at Anna.AleixesSoares@gosh.nhs.uk or call 0207 405 9200 Ext. 6976

Staff membership

In June 2014 the Trust Board and Council agreed to focus staff membership on all employees who hold a Great Ormond Street Hospital permanent contract or fixed term contract of 12 months or more. Staff union representatives were closely involved in this decision and how we consulted staff on it.

Previously, the staff constituency had also included the following groups: Trust agency and bank staff, Trust volunteers and individuals working on an honorary contract, and those employed by GOSH Children's Charity. These staff are now encouraged to join the public constituency.

We already value, involve and develop our staff, who are highly committed to the organisation and our Always Values. We believe staff membership offers greater involvement in our strategic direction and purpose, and reinforces a sense of staff ownership.

Annual Members Meeting

The Annual Members’ Meeting takes place in the Autumn. It’s a great opportunity to find out about what has been happening at the Trust during the past year and hear about our plans for the future.

Our upcoming Annual Members’ Meeting will be held on Wednesday 9 September at 5-6pm. Find out more and sign up here

Member contact

Are you already one of our members? Do we have up-to-date contact details for you?

We are currently in the process of updating our membership database. We would like to communicate more effectively and efficiently with our members ideally via email or text message. If any of your details have changed since you joined our membership, please send an email to foundation@gosh.nhs.uk with your updated information.

Meet the Council of Governors who work in partnership with the Trust and help shape its' future.

Check out the latest editions of our monthly Get Involved newsletter

Read our Annual Membership report here

Find out all the highlights from our recently concluded AGM and AMM