In Mind: Paul Taylor, Lead Governor at Mersey Care, provides an insight into his role within the Trust

I should begin this week by congratulating Beatrice Fraenkel, our chairman, who was officially presented with her Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) this week. This prestigious award represents Beatrice’s career spent working in a wide range of public, private and voluntary sector partners to deliver for and with their local communities.

As you know, from time to time I step aside and allow other members of our organisation to highlight their particular sphere of work with a guest blog. I thought it might be timely if this week, Paul Taylor, our Lead Governor, expanded on the work of the Council of Governors:

Joe Rafferty

Chief Executive

I’d like to start my guest blog by explaining a little bit about how the Council of Governors works, for those of you who don’t know much about it workings. Its primary function is to provide a key link between the Trust’s members and the organisation – if you like it’s the voice of the people we serve and their surrounding communities.

Our Council of Governors was formed in May 2016, immediately after Mersey Care became a Foundation NHS Trust, and I have served as Lead Governor since last year. It’s made up of a number of elected and appointed governors and is chaired by Beatrice Fraenkel, the Trust’s chairman, and comprises 29 governors, who each represent a constituency or group.

The Governors play an important role in holding the Board of Directors to account for their performance and also play an important role in the governance of the Trust and meet formally three times a year.

We recently held a Governor’s Awareness event during the recent members’ meeting at Aintree Racecourse and it was great to meet many of you there. I’d like to thank the Chief Operating Officers and other senior colleagues who took time to give us excellent briefings about their plans, and I was really impressed with how supported members felt in asking questions.

As the lead governor, I’m really focussed on co-production. I see plenty of examples of how we work together, sharing the real lived experiences of service users alongside the professionalism of our staff.

For me, the Life Rooms shows this best. I’d like to remind staff about just one of our activities at Walton, one that shows what we do but also they can recommend to service users and people in their care. For our newer colleagues in community services, this is ideal but I know the Life Rooms may be a service they need to know more about.

I want to especially recommend the Wellbeing Wednesdays, held on the last Wednesday of each month in Walton from 10-2. They are a great, free and accessible way to get advice and support.

There’s a real buzz in the air, a friendly atmosphere – but more importantly, chance for people to get immediate practical advice. Not just on healthcare but access to IT, gardening - lots of courses. Why not come along or maybe you can think of someone in your care or at home who would benefit?

Finally, we have governor elections soon. My thanks go to all governors playing a role new to Mersey Care, but crucial for us as a Foundation Trust. I’ll wish luck all around to those new candidates and ask everyone who is a member to play their part and vote.

Let’s continue to develop our great Trust for each other so we can really deliver great care to those who we support. As a service user, I’ve had the benefits of this and as a governor I want to ensure that continues to get better and better!

Paul Taylor

Lead Governor, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust