What being a governor means to Lynn

Lynn Moore has been a governor at CHFT for 6½ years, for the North and Central Halifax constituency.  She will come to the end of her time as a governor in July this year.  Lynn tells us she is keen to remain involved with the Trust after July, so we will be keeping her busy!

Lynn is an ex-midwife, having trained for both nursing and midwifery in Halifax.  She was a Midwifery Teacher before she retired after 30 years in the NHS. She lives in Sowerby Bridge with her husband, Arthur, and their dog Jack, who has kept Lynn sane during the lockdowns!  Here’s Lynn with Jack.

Lynn tells us what being a governor has meant for her:

Sum up what the governor role means to you in 4 words

Contributing to the Community 

What have you enjoyed about the role?

My overall enjoyment of the role has come from being able to contribute to my local  communities’ healthcare. Having trained in Halifax as a nurse, a midwife and a Midwifery Teacher and working in the NHS for 30 years, I wanted to use that experience to improve the service for users at the Trust.  The people I have met through this experience and the support that is always available from members of the Trust have made the role worthwhile. No matter which area I have been to there has always been a warm welcome. In my experience, staff always act on feedback about their services and where change is needed it is always implemented. 

Have there been any funny moments?

One particular incident makes me smile and will stay with me: as a governor I have been involved in PLACE inspections of the hospitals using a long checklist of things to look out for in the environment that could be detrimental to patients. As part of the inspections, we also sample patient meals and on one occasion, fish finger butties were mentioned. One of the other governors on the inspection team revealed that he had never heard of them (being originally from the south of England!). We left that task and headed back to complete our paperwork, and when we arrived there was a takeaway type bag with the governor’s name on it and inside was a fish finger butty specially made for him!

(We’ve had special permission from Brian Moore, the ex-governor concerned, to share this photo of him sampling the local delicacy! See pic below.)

Have there been any challenging moments?

It has been difficult at times when we, as a body, have not agreed fully with decisions that are being made by managers at the Trust, but this is exactly what our role is all about – putting in challenge! Some of the topics we’ve debated have been difficult, one being car parking charges, but I have always felt able to raise any issue that has concerned me. Some of the discussions resulted in changes, and some didn’t, but I have always felt that my views have been listened to and I have been able to express them openly.

Because of the pandemic all our governor meetings are being held virtually using MS Teams at the moment, and this has sometimes presented challenges. However, at the same time this has had a positive effect as there is no travelling to meetings, meetings tend to be shorter and you can go armed to the meeting with your favourite cup of coffee or tea whilst sitting in a comfy chair! What more could you ask for?! The downside, of course, is the lack of face-to-face contact with my fellow governors and staff at the Trust.

What have you gained from being a governor?

I have gained a really good insight into how a NHS Trust operates and I now have a good appreciation of how things are for “both sides”: as a Nurse and Midwife there was little or no insight as to what went on “behind the closed doors” of the managers’ offices.

I’ve been closely involved with the Trust’s Quality Committee during my time at the Trust and I’ve found it really beneficial being able to see how things that started off as discussions and ideas were then turned into reality, making a positive difference to patient care.

Looking back at your time as a governor, what have you been particularly impressed with at CHFT?

Over the time I have been a Governor the Trust has been involved in many developments and changes, including the implementation of an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) which started in May 2017 and has transformed patient care.

As Governors we were involved at all the stages of the transformation process which I feel privileged to have been part of.  I was constantly aware of just how much work, effort, worry and sleepless nights and possibly tears staff at the Trust had to bring that transformation for the future of the Trust and all who use the services provided. 

What advice would you give to anyone considering standing for election?

My advice to anyone reading this and thinking about standing for the role of  governor – or indeed to those that did not know such a role existed – would be to do more than think about it and take positive steps to make it a reality!  It is a very rewarding role and you can get a lot out of it.

By becoming a governor you can contribute to the changes you would like to see in the local health service you and your family and friends use – a service to be both part of and proud of. 

I am sorry my time being a governor is coming to an end but I wish all future governors all the very best.