What is a governor?

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Governors make a difference

What is a Governor?

Governors are generally people who have an interest in healthcare and care about improving their local health services for the good of the whole community.

Governors play an essential role of our Trust, providing a bridge between our membership, our community and our Board. There are statutory duties that our governors perform however, most importantly they listen and represent their communities. They help us to learn, develop and continue to grow as a Trust.

You must be 16 years old, or over, to stand as a Governor.

Frequently asked questions


What does the role involve

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Governors are an important part of NHFT

What does the role involve?

To be a successful Governor you would need to

  • Commit to attending six formal meetings a year and several other workshops (usually virtually)
  • Prepare for meetings by reviewing reports and other materials
  • Be able to engage with others to inform your contributions
  • Support the Trust to seek feedback from members and public
  • Pose questions to Non-Executive Directors on the Trust's work
  • Work together, take responsibility, be authentic and embrace change


Read more about the role on the NHS providers website

How does the role make a difference?

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Represent your community

How does the role make a difference?

Being a Governor is an amazing opportunity to influence healthcare across Northamptonshire.

Our governors are an important and vital link between the Trust and the people we serve. Not only do governors represent the interests of their communities and the public, as a whole, by using their networks and local ties, they can help us engage more effectively on Trust priorities and decisions.

The other main statutory duty of the Council of Governors is to hold to account the Non-Executive Directors (who are appointed by the Trust to oversee decision making and strategy). 

Governors are responsible for the appointment of the Non-Executive Directors (including the Chair). They undertake this duty in a variety of ways and Governors - some examples include observing the Board of Directors meetings, as well as contribute their thoughts to the Trust’s Strategy and Plans.

We are rated as an outstanding organisation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and this has meant better care for the people of Northamptonshire and beyond.  For this to continue we need to maintain strong partnerships between Directors, staff, service users and their carers – and governors play a key part in this. Governor roles can be fitted around you, with many of our meetings currently taking place virtually.

Please watch this video from our 2022 Annual Showcase event which shows the work of the Council in 2021/2022:

Annual Showcase event video


How do I become a Governor?

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Next steps

How do I become a Governor?

We have a variety of Governors including public, service user, carer, staff and partner governors. Governors are elected by the members of the Trust, for a term of up to three years. Governors may stand for re-election for a further one or two terms. When only one candidate per seat puts themselves forward for a seat they are appointed automatically without an election. If a Governor cannot complete a whole term, the role is offered to the second placed person in the election. During February and March 2023  we will be looking for new Governors to fill seats in our Council of Governors.

You must be a member in one of these constituencies to stand. This means you must either live in the geographical area or be a patient, or the carer of a patient using Trust services (within the last 10 years).

The available seats are:

  • One public Northampton seat
  • Two public Kettering & Corby seats
  • Two public Wellingborough & East Northants seats
  • Six Patient and Carer seats

Become a Governor webinars

We are holding two Become a Governor session in February and March 2023 where you can find out more about the role and if it is right for you.

Please book a place using the MS Forms links below:

Become a Governor session - Monday 20 February at 1pm (via Microsoft Teams) 

Become a Governor session - Tuesday 7 March at 5.30pm (via Microsoft Teams) 


Members in these constituencies will have received a notice of election (which is on the documents section), this lists the instructions of how to stand.

If you are interested in standing, but are not yet a member, you can join via this link:

Become a member of NHFT


You must be eligible for one of the above constituencies if you wish to stand in these elections.

The deadline for nominations is Friday 10 March 2023 at 5pm. If seats are contested, voting will commence on 30 March 2023.


Governor elections - Key documents

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Useful links 

Key election documents         

Notice of Election 2023

NHFT constitution 2023

Our Leadership Behaviours 

Our Governor's story

Statement of Nominated Candidates

Governor Election Uncontested Report 2023

Contact us to find out more about being a Governor:

Telephone: 03000 273 981
Email: foundationtrust@nhft.nhs.uk

Is becoming a govenor the right role for you?

We have lots of options to get involved at NHFT. Select from the options to see which is the right one for you.

I'm interested in:

  • Learning about trust services and receiving regular updates
  • Giving my time, regularly working directly with patients
  • Giving my time regularly to be involved in the formal decision-making of the Trust, as well as helping to represent the views of others. This could include in taking part in staff recruitment and bespoke project groups
  • Using my lived experience to help develop services in the Trust. This could involve a regular or more infrequent time commitment, and may include taking part in staff recruitment and being part of bespoke project groups
  • Providing feedback on a service