WORKFORCE: The first-ever council of governors has been elected for Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, as the organisation pushes for foundation status.

Public and patient members of the trust have elected 16 governors, to sit alongside six trust staff voted for by their colleagues and a further nine appointed governors drawn from stakeholder bodies, including local authorities, GP commissioners and universities.

The governors elected by patient and public members are from Adur, Arun, Horsham, Chichester, and Worthing, and a wider “Patient” group drawn from outside the trust’s five public constituency areas. The full list of the newly-elected governors can be viewed here.

The field of 114 candidates – 75 from the public and patient membership, 39 from staff members – was “unusually wide for such a poll”, according to the trust.

More than 5,700 votes cast, producing a turnout of the 41%, which was around twice the national average for similar NHS elections, it added.

The trust is currently in the final stages of being assessed for FT status by Monitor.

Trust chair Mike Viggers said: “With such a wide field of candidates, and a high turnout, we know that we have a strong council, which will stand us in good stead for the future.

“This council has a big job to do on behalf of local people and I am looking forward to working with them in the years ahead.”