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Governor role

The role of the Council of Governors

Because we are a Foundation Trust, we have a Council of Governors.  Governors play a key role at University Hospitals Bristol in helping to guide the development of services, holding the Non-executive Directors to account, and representing the views of members.  Most governors are elected from the Foundation Trust membership. These elected governors reflect the interests of the community and represent their members when key decisions are taken at the Trust. There are 27 elected public, patient and staff governors on the UH Bristol Council of Governors. There are also 8 Appointed Governors, who sit on the Council of Governors to represent the interest of stakeholder organisations.

Siobhan Coles

Message from Siobhan Coles, Youth Involvement Group Governor, June 2018

My name is Siobhan Coles and I am a Young Governor of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know more about my role as a Young Governor since being appointed in September 2017, and what I do for the Trust and other organisations.

Firstly I want to tell you about my role as a Cystic Fibrosis Trust ambassador. Due to having the genetic condition myself, I work hard to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis to help develop people's understanding, as well as offering support to others and getting involved with campaigning. This is also the perfect opportunity to tell you about Cystic Fibrosis Week and Wear Yellow Day, which is happening across the country from the 18 - 24 June. This is a week where the Cystic Fibrosis community do everything we can to raise awareness and raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. It would be absolutely incredible if you could get involved too. A great way to do this would be to join in on Wear Yellow Day (Friday 22 June) - with the clue being in the title - wear something yellow, take a picture, and post it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; tagging Cystic Fibrosis Trust and using the #CFYelfie and #styleityellow. This is a really exciting week to get involved and you will be helping to support the Cystic Fibrosis Community fight for a life unlimited!

As a Young Governor I have been very proud to be part of such a wonderful, compassionate and hardworking organisation as UH Bristol. Becoming a Young Governor has been very exciting and insightful - during the last year  I have been involved in the health matters events held by the Trust, along with the other governors. One of these events was a 'Young Minds Matter' mental health awareness and support event, which coincided with World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2017. This was a very successful event which saw a variety of young people turn out to get support, advice and information on mental health for themselves or for someone close to them. We also held this event to encourage the importance of talking about your feelings and breaking down the stigma around mental health.

I became a governor through joining the Youth Involvement Group back in March 2017. We are a group of passionate individuals who work hard to improve young people's services in hospital and we make it our duty to ensure all young people of Bristol and the South West are being heard and listened to so that action can be taken to improve services here and now and for the future. We have been involved in many events, including 'Young Minds Matter'. We have been to two governor meetings, one on the topic of quality and the other on strategic planning - what we want to see the NHS look like in five years' time. This was a really interesting event and lots of key points were discussed, including advances in the use of technology in hospitals, and how social care services in the community can work better with the NHS. As a group we have also been involved in lots of exciting projects, both in the children's and the adult hospitals. Specifically for those patients who transition from children's to adult services we have had a project running which aims to make all wards 'Young People Friendly' - and we are delighted to say that ward A900 in the BRI has received this certification. Another project we have worked on in the last year is the renaming of the wards in Bristol Children's Hospital. New signs and artwork are currently being put in place, so if you have a bit of time please go over and have a look!

Our latest project in the Youth Involvement Group is planning and creating a welcome guide for young people in the children's hospital. We want to do this because the adult's hospital has a guide and so do the parents of children in the children's hospital,  but there is not a specific one aimed at young people so we are working to create a welcome guide aimed at ages 10+.

To round off I would like to tell you about a wonderful visit I had to Buckingham Palace to celebrate Prince Charles' 70th birthday and the work of voluntary, charity, civil and public services. It was an absolute privilege to be part of this day, celebrating and acknowledging incredible work by incredible people who give their time to help others and make a difference in the world. It made me feel incredibly inspired, proud to be a volunteer and part of a crowd of individuals who all want to do good. It reminded me that maybe the world is not always a bad place and good, simple acts of humanity can make a huge difference.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this month's newsletter. I hope you can get involved with Cystic Fibrosis Week and Wear Yellow Day. I hope you enjoyed reading, Thank you.

You can download a copy of the June membership e-newsletter here