We have been meeting with our governors to learn more about the important role they play at the Trust.

Jenni Doman is one of our staff governors and has represented non-clinical staff on the council of governors since St George’s became a Foundation Trust in 2015.

We met with Jenni to find out more about why she became a governor, what she enjoys about the role and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Why did you want to become a staff governor?

“I was approached by a member of the executive at the time about becoming a staff governor. I thought long and hard about it as it is a very different role than being a manager at the Trust and a very responsible position.

“St George’s is my local hospital, and both my family and I have been patients here. I really want to see it thrive, and to give a voice to non-clinical members of staff, so I decided to put myself forward and have been fortunate to be re-elected now.

What do you enjoy about the role?

“We have a large council of governors with a huge breadth of expertise, so it’s fantastic to work with them, and the Trust’s members, in holding the non-executive directors to account for the performance of the Trust Board.

“It also means I get to meet lots of new people and engage with the Trust’s members to ensure that I make time to speak to the members that I represent. Ahead of this month’s governor elections, I was pleased to be able to mentor a few of our members who were interested in becoming governors and explain a bit more about the role governors play.

“For some of our governors, navigating the NHS and understanding how the Trust works can be difficult, and as a member of staff, I can help with this and suggest the best way to approach issues.”

How has Covid-19 impacted on you and your fellow governors?

“We have all had to adapt to using new technology, such as hosting our first virtual Annual Members’ Meeting in September. The pandemic has made us think about new ways we can reach out to and engage with members.

“Using digital platforms and technology can be a big help for communicating, especially when face-to-face events aren’t possible. For me, the launch of the new staff intranet will also help engage more with staff.”

What are your thoughts on the way staff at the Trust have responded to the pandemic?

“Teams have really risen to the challenge. I can only speak for the corporate division, but the pandemic has brought staff closer together – I never thought I would be speaking to an intensive care consultant on a Sunday about oxygen supply but now I have! This has also enabled all staff to understand and recognise the corporate and support services teams and the vital roles these staff have in the running of all the Trust premises during difficult times.

“In my role as a governor, I’ve have also been able to give staff my professional perspective and reassure them. I’ve been fortunate in that I can also give my fellow governors examples of the incredible work being done by colleagues during the pandemic and help answer some of their questions.”