What is membership?
Being a Foundation Trust means we are a membership organisation free from central government control. This means we have more managerial and financial freedom, which enables us to adapt services to meet the needs of our patients and the local community. We are regulated by NHS England and Improvement (previously Monitor) in order to protect the public interest and to ensure that we are well-governed, legally constituted, financially viable and provide a high standard of care.
Our membership office is responsible for recruiting public members and maintaining the membership database of public and staff members. They also work with public and staff governors to support member engagement.
Our membership community is made up of:
- Public members
- Staff members
Anyone that is 12 years or over and lives in either Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall, Birmingham and the wider West Midlands or Central England can become a public member.
Members of the public and staff that do not meet the staff membership eligibility criteria can sign up free as a member here.
To represent the staff and public membership, we have an Assembly of Governors.
Staff that are on a permanent or fixed term contract of 12 months are automatically members, unless they choose to opt out by contacting our membership office.
As a public or staff member, you can decide exactly how much you would like to get involved.
- Keep up to date with our Trust developments and influence the direction of our services
- Attend our Annual General Members meeting and Assembly of Governor meetings
- Attend various membership events, such as information seminars
- Participate in health promotions / campaigns
- Participate in workshops and surveys
- Fundraise for our Trust charity
- Be involved in Trust research projects
- Receive discounts on a wide range of goods and services through an NHS discounts scheme
- Help build our membership community to ensure that it is representative of the communities we serve
- Vote in governor elections to elect nominated members to our Assembly of Governors
- Stand in future governor elections, and join our Assembly of Governors.
Our Assembly of Governors has 39 elected and nominated Governors, who include:
- 27 Governors elected from and by the public (public members)*
- 8 Governors elected from and by our staff (staff members)
- 4 Governors nominated by our local councils (known as stakeholder governors)
* Anyone aged 16 or above can stand as a governor in our public elections
Governors are elected by members of the Trust or appointed to represent stakeholder organisations. They are the individuals that bind a trust to its patients, service users, staff, and stakeholders.
Our Assembly of Governors play a key role in representing the views of members and the public to ensure that our services reflect the needs of the communities that we serve. They do this through various staff and public engagement events throughout the year. Governors also seek performance assurance from our Board of Directors and act as a conduit for widely held staff views and bring these to the attention of the Assembly of Governors if issues of concern are not being appropriately addressed by the Trust. In addition to this, they can support by signposting staff to sources of help and guidance, such as how to raise a concern.