As a Foundation Trust, we are held to account by our Members who, acting through our Council of Governors, offer constructive challenge to the Non-executive Directors on important issues which matter to our members.

The Council of Governors consists of elected and nominated governors who provide an important link between the Trust, local people and key stakeholder organisations by sharing information and views that can be used to develop and improve patient services.

All Foundation Trusts are required to have a Council of Governors, which carries out a range of legal functions on behalf of the members of the Trust including:

  • Appointing the Chair
  • Appointing the Non-Executive Directors
  • Appointing the Auditors
  • Being involved in the setting the plans for the Trust
  • Holding an Annual Members' Meeting
  • Approving the Trust's Constitution
  • Holding the Non-Executive Directors individually and collectively, to account for the performance of the Board of Directors
  • Approving the appointment of the Chief Executive
  • Representing members' interests and bringing these to bear on strategy decisions
  • Approving significant transactions
  • Providing input into the development of the annual plan
  • Receiving the annual report and accounts and the auditor's opinion on them

Council of Governors

The Council of Governors is made up of people of all ages and backgrounds who all share one thing in common - the continued development of the Trust.

The Council represents the interests of the Trust's many members and the partner organisations with whom we work locally, e.g. local councils and other NHS organisations.

The Council is responsible for holding the Non-Executive Directors to account for the Trust's Board of Directors' stewardship of the organisation.

The Council also helps the Trust carry out its duties in ways that meet with NHS values and the terms agreed with the Independent Regulator for NHS Foundation Trusts (NHS Improvement) whose role it is to oversee NHS Foundation Trusts.

The Council is formed of 24 Governors made up of public and staff elected members, together with people appointed to represent the interests of our local partner organisations:

Type of Governor Number
Public Governors 13
Appointed Governors 4
Staff Governors 4

Please see Council of Governors meetings.

Governor Elections

From Tuesday 23 August to Wednesday 21 September, members of the public are invited to stand for election to become a public governor of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

This year we have vacancies for the following constituencies:

  • Swindon (7 seats)
  • West Berkshire, Oxford, Gloucestershire, Bath and NE Somerset (1 seat)
  • Rest of England (1 seat)

Interested applicants should visit, where you will be able to complete a nomination online.

If you would like a hard copy nomination form, please contact the Returning Officer, Sonali Campion as follows:

There are usually five Council of Governors meetings per year and optional working groups focusing on patient experience, finance, membership and training for governors to attend.

The time commitment should not be more than one day a month.

Join our forum to find out more

Join us on Thursday 6 September at 2:00pm (on MS Teams) to find out more about what it means to be a Governor and how to apply to stand for election.

You can also request a Governor guide information document by contacting the membership office on:

Tel: 01793 605395

Public Governors

These are elected by our Members to work as part of our Council of Governors with our Non-executive Directors, to influence strategy and patient services.

Please see Public Governors.

Appointed Governors

These are appointed by key local partner organisations.

Please see Appointed Governors.

Staff Governors

These are elected by our staff.

Please see Staff Governors.

Further information

Please see:

If you have any questions, please contact us.