Elections to the Council of Governors – Essex Partnership University Trust

Content originally from Essex Partnership University Trust

Elections to the Council of Governors

  • Have you ever wanted to have a say about the future of mental health and community health services in your area?
  • Do you want to influence your local health services provider’s plans for the future?
  • Are you passionate about the NHS and how it helps meet the needs of the community?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then please consider putting yourself forward as a Governor of EPUT.

EPUT provides community health, mental health and learning disability services primarily in Essex, but also delivers some specialised services in Bedfordshire, Luton and Suffolk.

We will be holding elections for Governors during the next few months for the following constituencies:

  • Essex Mid & South                                                                   5 Governor vacancies
  • North East Essex & Suffolk                                                      2 Governor vacancies
  • West Essex & Hertfordshire                                                     2 Governor vacancies                     
  • Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire, Luton &  Rest of England          2 Governor vacancies                   

What do Governors do? As a Foundation Trust, EPUT will be responsible to the local community through having a membership base and the election of Governors to appoint the Chair and the Non-Executive Directors, and hold them accountable for the Board’s actions. 

The Council of Governors is a key part of a ‘can do’ organisation and acts as a link between the Trust’s members and the Board of Directors. Together, the Board and Council ‘drive’ the Trust ensuring that we provide quality services and the highest standards of care. Governors have no operational influence and are not about ‘rubber stamping’ decisions made by the Board of Directors.  The Council advises the Board of public opinion and acts as guardians of the public interest.  Public Governors develop links between their local community and EPUT.  This will ensure we remain rooted in and responsive to our communities’ needs. 

What skills do I need? We aim to have Governors who are representative of all walks of life; you don’t need special skills to become an effective Governor. You need to be passionate about the NHS, care about your local services, wish to represent the views of local people in your community and most importantly have the time to do so. We will provide training for the successful candidate and support to help you carry out your role.

Who can become a Governor? Only members of EPUT may become Governors and must be aged 16 or over at the nomination date. You can become a member by contacting the Trust Secretary Office on 01268 739739 or email epunft.membership@nhs.net

The election process: Nominations and voting for Governors takes place during April to June 2022.  The process is managed by Electoral Reform Services (ERS), the independent scrutineer. Members who stand for election are required to submit an election statement which includes information about themselves and why they think they would be a good Governor, together with a declaration confirming any potential conflicts of interest.  This information will be sent to members from the relevant constituency together with the voting instructions.

Prospective Governor events: Meetings are being held virtually using Microsoft Teams. These workshops are to help members gain an understanding of the Governor role, how the election process works and to ask questions. There will also be an opportunity to meet a Non-Executive Director of the Board and some previous Governors for their insight on the role. Please contact the Trust Secretary Office on 01268 739739 or email

epunft.membership@nhs.net if you would like to attend one of the meetings:

  • Tuesday 5th April 2pm-4pm
  • Wednesday 6th April 2pm-4pm
  • Thursday 7th April 2pm-4pm
  • Friday 8th April 12pm-2pm

What should I do now? If you are interested and think you could be an effective Governor or would like to find out more about the role, please contact the Trust Secretary Office or check out our website www.eput.nhs.uk or join us at one of the Prospective Governor events.

If you do not think that being a Governor is right for you, we would encourage you to have your say in who is elected by voting in the forthcoming elections.