“I see and work with people who are passionate about the Trust’s progress” – interview with Bassey Williams, staff governor
We have been meeting with our governors to learn more about the important role they play at the Trust.
Bassey Williams is one of our staff governors, representing Allied Health Professionals and other Clinical and Technical staff. Bassey told us why she wanted to become a governor and how proud she is of the way colleagues have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Why did you want to become a staff governor?
Having been a member of staff since 2013, I’ve seen changes in the executive team and how staff were worried about issues. When I saw the staff governor role was being advertised I spoke to my boss and decided to apply.
I also thought that ethinic minority staff may not be represented so I met up with Richard Coxon [Membership Manager] to discuss the role. I really love to serve people, such as in student unions, and in this case it was to carry issues up the right channels instead of lamenting. I was beginning to see how the new executive team and Jacqueline Totterdell [Chief Executive] had a way of leading and being transparent too, and that motivated me, so here I am.
Why do you think being a member of staff at the Trust is helpful in your role as a governor?
Staff input is like involving the users in any prosperous organisation – the staff help to drive and also highlight impacts, risks and benefits of policies and strategies.
What do you enjoy about the role?
I see and work with people who are passionate about the Trust’s progress. All governors, along with the chairman and the lead governor, respect each others’ views and the non-executive directors perform their roles to makes our jobs easier.
Though there is a lot of commitment and responsibility in looking at board minutes, participating in other committees and reporting input, it is the positive outcomes that matter and the impact of members engagement .
Since becoming a governor, what has been a highlight for you?
I think the board executives are keen to hear from staff and implementing so many projects that impact staff in a positive way. We still have a long way to go but ‘where there is a will there is a way’.
Covid-19 has meant changes to your usual role and how you meet with governors – how have you found those changes?
This year we had one meeting before the pandemic, and before I had the chance to meet the new governors recently elected. So not being able to meet people face to face is the main effect. I am a people person, and virtual meetings aren’t the same. The discussion can still happen but seeing people’s body language or tone is never quite the same.
Finally, what are your thoughts on the way staff at the Trust have responded to the pandemic?
You know, I am so proud of St George’s staff from the executive team all the way down. All contributed immensely to the success of handling the Covid-19 challenge. The frequent updates in staff bulletins, allowing staff to work from home in most areas to reduce contact, social distancing at work, staff helping in ITU and having no complaints in redeployment to certain areas was fantastic.
The availability of staff car parking was also very helpful. I saw other staff in prayer groups who supported colleagues in prayers, interceding for strength, wisdom and protection from God. Not to mention the staff wellbeing room organised by St George’s Hospital Charity.
I believe staff operated successfully with professionalism – nothing deterred their willingness to care for the patients appropriately.