The Foundation Trust Governors’ Association has said its members must be central to making major service changes as investment cuts hit.

The organisation, which represents more than 2,500 governors at 69 trusts, has just published its first three-year strategy and its first annual report.

A foreword to the annual report by association chair Sharon Carr-Brown, a governor at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Foundation Trust, says: “Trusts may have to make difficult decisions about how and where services are delivered.

“Governors are there to ensure that those decisions, however hard, are taken with the full consultation of local people and are designed to improve services and not just save money.”

Ms Carr-Brown told HSJ: “If anything in a reconfiguration proves controversial, and a foundation trust can’t convince its governors, it has got no chance with the wider public.

“It is vital to have governors on side to go out into the community.”

The strategy says the association’s priorities will include developing training for members, an annual survey of their opinions and contributing to policy on foundation trusts.