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Roles and responsibility

The role of a Governor:

Governors play a key role at University Hospitals Bristol in helping to guide the development of services, holding the Directors to account, and acting as guardians for the Trust's values and standards. Most governors are elected from the Foundation Trust Membership. Elected governors are also responsible for representing the interests of their members and members of the public.

What are the formal responsibilities of governors?

  • To hold the Non-executive Directors to account for the performance of the Board of Directors;
  • Appoint and, if appropriate, remove the Chair or Non-executive Directors;
  • Decide the remuneration and allowances and other terms and conditions of office of the chair and other Non-executive Directors.
  • Approve any appointment of a new Chief Executive;
  • Receive the Trust's annual accounts, any report of the auditor on them, and the annual report at a general meeting of the Council of Governors;
  • Agree the appointment of the auditor;
  • Represent the interests of the members as a whole and the interests of the public;
  • Approve 'significant transactions';
  • Approve any application by the Trust to enter into a merger, acquisition, separation or dissolution;
  • Approve amendments to the Trust's constitution;
  • Decide if the Trust's non-NHS work would significantly interfere with its main purpose which is to provide goods and services for the health service in England, or performing its other functions.

 To carry out their role effectively, governors have a responsibility to:

  • Support the aims and vision of the Trust;
  • Demonstrate high standards of personal conduct and act as a positive ambassador for the Trust;
  • Act with integrity and objectivity and in the best interests of the Trust, without any expectation of personal benefit;
  • Understand that the decisions of the Council of Governors must take full account of the needs and views of patients, local people and staff;
  • Seek to ensure that individually and collectively they uphold the Trust's commitment to equality and diversity;
  • Value and respect governor colleagues and all members of staff and patients with whom they come into contact;
  • Respect appropriate confidentiality of information received in their role as Governor;
  • Adhere to Trust policies and procedures;
  • Contribute effectively to the work of the Council of Governors in the fulfilment of its role as set out in the Trust's constitution;
  • Attend meetings of the Council of Governors, meetings of the Governor Project Focus Groups and other meetings, training sessions and members' events, in order to be able to carry out the role of Governor to the best of their ability.

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please take a look at our Election pages and our Frequently Asked Questions. For more information, please contact us. If you would like to come to a Council of Governors meeting, papers and dates of future meetings can be found here.


The Health and Social Care Act 2012 modified the role of the governors from "holding the Board to account for the performance of the Trust" to "holding the Non-Executive Directors to account for the performance of the Board". The Board's performance can be judged by the way in which it maintains compliance with the Monitor Provider License.

In addition to their core duties, governors take an interest in some of the more operational aspects of the Trusts, and use the Governors' Log of Communications to ask questions about these matters from time to time. Examples of these "ad hoc" questions are given here. Governors' questions are published in each set of minutes of the Council of Governors meeting, which are available to read here: