Mental Health Support
17 May 2022

Could you or someone you know join the Council of Governors at the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and help improve healthcare services for your community? 

The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, our NHS Pathfinder partner, is seeking nominations for election to its Council of Governors. It is particularly seeking self-nominations from service users and carers to join its council. 

Governors are independent of the trust and act as "critical friends". They are volunteers who represent the interests of members of the public, hold the non-executive directors to account for performance, appoint the Chair and non-executive directors and determine remuneration. They may also get involved in focus groups, open days, patient surveys and do ward and department visits. 

There are positions available for service user and carer governors – and for public governors and staff governors – all for a three-year term.

For service user nominees, people need to have used the services of the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust within the last five years, or, in the case of carers, be carers of family or friends who have used its services within the last five years.

What sort of people become governors? 

Generally governors are local people who are interested in improving their local health services for the good of the whole community and want to help develop stronger links between the trust and the community it serves.  

There aren’t special qualifications for being a governor. However, governors need to: 

  • recognise that a health service is complex with many issues to address to ensure its smooth running and be able to operate effectively at this level  

  • be able to put the needs of the community above personal preference  

  • be keen to understand and be able to champion the needs of the local community  

  • actively listen and value the contributions of different people  

  • welcome and support fellow governors from minority groups which are traditionally under-represented  

  • be enthusiastic and committed and want to work as part of a cohesive team  

  • be keen to learn and keep updated  

  • be able to ask questions in a constructive, not confrontational, manner  

  • be willing to read relevant documents and papers, attend relevant meetings and training the trust will provide 

  • abide by the seven principles of public life – selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. 

Nominations are open and should be submitted by Tuesday 24 May 2022 at 5pm. For all contested constituencies, voting will open on Friday 17 June 2022. Voting will close at 5pm on Tuesday 12 July 2022 . 

Nominate yourself here. For more information about becoming governor, please see the Sussex Partnership’s information booklet or contact Hilary Saunders, Deputy Company Secretary, on 0300 304 2631 or email her at 


Additional content
Details of governor opportunities and council make-up