Our latest governor interview is with John Hallmark, who is one of our representatives for Wandsworth.

John was elected in February 2018, and like many of our governors, was motivated by the desire to give something back to St George’s.

Tell us a bit about your background

“My background is in communications, having worked as a speechwriter at the House of Commons, for the RSPCA, and in Whitehall.  Most recently I worked in the House of Commons for the previous MP for Battersea.

“I also served as a Wandsworth councillor for 16 years and am still a governor for a local school.”

Why did you want to become a governor?

“It was a chance to give something back and my way of saying thanks.

“There are three main things that really appeal to me about being a governor: to help decide the Trust’s future direction, to monitor what’s happening and make sure the hospital is being run correctly, and finally I find the role both varied and interesting.”

Governor elections are coming up in January – why is it important for members to vote?

“Governors are your representatives, involved in deciding the future of St George’s, and the public should be involved in choosing them. The more votes that are cast the more of a mandate governors have.”

What are some of your highlights from your time as a governor?

“I was recently involved with appointing three new Non-Executive Directors. They are the people that hold the executives to account, so of course it’s important we appoint the right people.

“Participating in the ward accreditation scheme is also rewarding. I am part of the panel that will inspect a ward and award it a gold, silver or bronze rating – I find it really beneficial to see the way wards run and to meet members of staff.”

Finally, what has been your personal experience of St George’s and the NHS?

“I was diagnosed with a neurological condition at St George’s 25 years ago, have been to A&E too many times, and a few years ago I snapped my femur and was an inpatient for three weeks.

“Each time I’ve been a patient I have been struck by how fantastic everyone is. I believe if we get the workforce and the morale right, then everything else will sort itself out.

“The NHS is a wonder of the modern world – people outside the UK look at us and wonder why they can’t have health care like ours.”