Guildford Governor lifts the lid on life as a Trust governor | News

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Guildford Governor lifts the lid on life as a Trust governor

Head and shoulder photo of Guildford Governor Gillian Rix

A desire to continue contributing to the NHS after a long-standing career inspired Gillian Rix to become the Guildford Governor for Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust. Almost six years later, she’s enjoying getting to the heart of health issues in her local community as well as learning more about Royal Surrey and the wider NHS. 

Why did you become a Governor?

I was a staff member for around 25 years and felt part of the Royal Surrey family, and I wanted to contribute to the life of the Trust. I am one of the only governors who is an ex-employee; our governors come from all different walks of life. We all share the common goal of representing local constituents and helping to make good strategic decisions.

How has your experience been? 

It has been informative and enjoyable and I was pleased to represent local people who approached me as their governor with their queries on matters to do with Royal Surrey.

I have done some really interesting things in my time as governor, such as attending national NHS England training on the role, receiving news of Royal Surrey strategies, to judging the wards' annual Christmas decoration competition!

What’s been the biggest surprise? 

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the extent to which management and governance teams work in parallel with the clinical teams to aim for, and achieve, the highest standards of wellbeing for staff and patients.

Have there been any challenges?  

The pandemic started during my second term as governor, and this changed the dynamic of our meetings as we moved to having them online. 

There have since been a number of ongoing challenges for the Trust, including strikes and significant rises in numbers of patients coming to our Emergency Department (A&E).

What’s been your favourite part of the role?

I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to see NHS staff close up and admire how they have maintained their services during the challenges. It’s been great to hear from specialities about their current activity and have the opportunity to ask significant questions.

I’ve also enjoyed meeting patients and constituents and being able to help them by raising matters appropriately when they have queries.

Would you recommend it?

If you are interested in learning and understanding the day to day and intricate workings of one of the best large local Trusts and regional cancer centres and the NHS as a whole, then I would thoroughly recommend becoming a Royal Surrey Governor.

Governor elections 2024

Find out more about becoming at Royal Surrey governor and apply before 22 January 2024 at 5pm.

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