As part of our series of interviews with the Trust’s governors, we spoke with Ataul Qadir Tahir, who represents the borough of Wandsworth.

Why did you want to become a governor?

“Having spent a couple of decades as a community leader in Tooting and Balham, I often had people living in the area come to me to discuss health issues and request help when they were in hospital in St George’s or had relatives who were.

“As such, I was always aware of people using NHS services at the hospital and felt I could really serve them well as a governor by contributing with feedback in both directions as we seek to ensure services remain at a high level and improve them where we can. ”

What do you enjoy about being a governor?

“Being able to serve local residents and community members and being able to get an insight into the day-to-day workings of London’s most renowned hospital Trust.”

Since becoming a governor, what has been a highlight for you?

“I have only taken part in two public meetings with our members, one in Streatham Library, the other in Earlsfield, but after that, lockdown started in March 2020 and I am now looking forward to meeting once again in the not too distant future.

“Although we have continued with virtual meetings, they have been informative and interactive – the opportunity to ask questions to people of such expertise is a true pleasure and a huge insight into the quality of people in charge of the running of the Trust.”

What do you think makes St George’s unique?

“As one of London’s largest hospitals being so close to my own home, having some of the leading specialists in all of the UK, it is an awe-inspiring place. It also holds significant personal value for me as both my children were born there and I was treated there after a heart-attack I suffered in the past.”

Finally, what are your thoughts on the way staff at the Trust have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic?

“St George’s has managed to pull together fantastically to endure the impact of Covid-19 and the social distancing restrictions that had been necessary to help manage the pandemic and to keep people safe.

“It has been staggering to see the sacrifices and dangers the staff have been willing to make and take to help the victims of this terrible pandemic. I would like to reiterate the words of Chris Hopson, NHS Providers Chief Executive, which he narrated in their first ever virtual meeting on 3-5 November 2020: ‘The NHS’ management of Phase One of the Covid-19 pandemic was an extraordinary achievement but there had been a significant impact on NHS staff.'”