The role of a governor

Our Council of Governors

You already know that being a Foundation Trust member gives you a real opportunity to be involved in the work of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust.

However, by being elected to our Council of Governors, you can have a direct role in the development of the organisation.

Council of Governors do role

An integral part of our Foundation Trust is the Council of Governors. The Council ensures that the views and interests of the public, patients, carers, our staff and other stakeholders are heard and reflected in the strategy for the hospital.

This group of committed individuals contribute to the work and future developments of the Trust in order to help improve the quality of services and care for all our young patients.

The Board of Directors is responsible for the direction and performance of the Trust and the Council of Governors is responsible for holding the Non-Executive Directors individually and collectively to account for the performance of the Board.

Governors represent specific constituencies and are elected or appointed to do so. It is their responsibility to represent the interests of their constituents and the wider membership, and to relay to members and the public information about what the organisation is doing, particularly in relation to its strategic direction.

Qualities governors need and support they receive

Our governors are enthusiastic and committed to the work being undertaken at the hospital. They are able and keen to share the Trust's vision of "the child first and always" and safeguard the Trust's Our Always Values. They also help us shape our hopes for the future, patients, families and staff by contributing to the Trust strategy: Above and Beyond.

Our governors:

  • understand and are able to champion the needs of patients, their families and carers and staff
  • actively listen and value the contributions of different people
  • put the needs of the hospital community above personal preference
  • are enthusiastic and committed and want to work as part of a cohesive team
  • learn and keep updated on Trust developments
  • read relevant documents and papers, attend relevant meetings and training the Trust will provide

We provide a comprehensive induction programme and on-going training for our governors to support them in their role. We carry out a skills audit to identify any additional transferable skills governors may have, or any extra training we may need to offer.

Time commitment

The minimum involvement expected of our governors is to attend four formal Council meetings a year. Remote access and dial-in facilities are available upon request. Governors are supported to receive induction training and attendance at development sessions is encouraged.

Governors also have the opportunity to be involved in a number of other groups and committees such as the Nominations and Remuneration Committee and the Membership Engagement Recruitment and Representation Committee.

One of the governors' responsibilities is to help the Trust communicate with the membership and the public and ensure their views are fed back to the hospital.

We encourage our governors to reach out to their local communities to engage with the membership. Governors currently attend the Annual Members' Meeting and Annual General Meeting. They engage and recruit new members both within and outside the hospital. They also write personalised letters to their constituents in our "Member Matters" magazine.

Standing for election

To stand for election to the Council of Governors, you need to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • you must be a member of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
  • you must be at least 16 years of age
  • public, patient and carer governors must live in the constituency in which they wish to stand
  • candidates for a staff governor seat must work for the Trust on a permanent contract or on a fixed term contract of 12 months or more
  • you must not already be a governor for another NHS Foundation Trust
  • appointed governors must be supported in office by the stakeholder organisation that they represent.

In order to be eligible to be a member of the Patient and Carer Constituency, you have to have attended the hospital within 10 years prior to your application to become a member.

Only members of the Trust are eligible to stand for election as a governor. If you are not currently a member and are interested in standing for election as a governor, please complete an online application form to join the GOSH membership.

Contact information

If you would like more information about the role of a governor or would like to get in touch with the governor that represents your constituency.


Telephone: 020 7405 9200 (extension 5668).