INTRODUCTION TO BEING A GOVERNOR

Note: The role of an RD&E Governor film was produced in 2016 and includes Governors and members of staff in post at the time. The content still remains relevant. 

GOVERNOR ELECTIONS

The majority of governors are elected by members to represent patients, staff and the general public. We hold elections each year, and members vote for governors within the constituency they live.

Elections are run by an external polling company and members receive ballot papers and information by post when an election takes place.

2021 ELECTIONS

Voting in the elections to the Council of Governors closed at 5pm on 21 September 2021 and we can now declare the results as follows:

East Devon Dorset Somerset & Rest of England – 3 to elect, all for terms of two years

  • Kay Foster and Barbara Sweeney re-elected
  • Heather Penwarden newly elected
  • Current Governor Bob Maskell was not re-elected
  • Turnout was 23.48%

Mid North West Devon & Cornwall – 2 to elect

  • James Bradley re-elected for a term of three years
  • Annie Adcock newly elected for a term of two years
  • Current Governor Marcus Pipe was not re-elected
  • Turnout was 20.17%

Staff – 4 to elect

  • Anum Shuja re-elected for a term of three years
  • Hazel Hedicker re-elected for a term of two years
  • Mascia Checconi and Simon Leepile newly elected for terms of two years
  • Current Governors Catherine Geddes and Dominic Hazell were not re-elected
  • Turnout was 10.27%

The full report of voting is available to download. Terms of office start and end at our Annual Members Meeting on 29 September 2021.

In the Exeter & South Devon constituency, we had three candidates for three posts and therefore all three candidates are elected uncontested. The uncontested election report is available to download.

Thank you to all our candidates and to all our members who voted.

2020 ELECTIONS

In March 2020, NHS England and Improvement contacted all Foundation Trusts to propose changes in order to reduce the burden of reporting and to free up senior capacity to prioritise the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of this direction and taking into account the need to focus on managing COVID-19, the Council of Governors proposed some temporary changes to the Constitution at an extraordinary meeting in April 2020. The RD&E Board has subsequently approved the proposed changes to the Constitution to ensure business continuity, maintain good governance, and to pay heed to ongoing Government guidance on social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel. The changes approved by the RD&E Board are:

  • To remove the need for routine Council of Governor elections in 2020.
  • To offer those Governors whose terms of office come to an end in September 2020 an extension to September 2021. The proposal is being made in order to maintain the status quo of the Council and to not disadvantage those Governors whose term of office is due to end in September 2020.

The Governors who have had their terms extended in line with these changes are:

  • Kay Foster (East Devon, Dorset and Somerset and Rest of England)
  • Bob Maskell (East Devon, Dorset and Somerset and Rest of England)
  • Barbara Sweeney (East Devon, Dorset and Somerset and Rest of England)
  • Tony Ducker (Exeter & South Devon)
  • Marcus Pipe (Mid, North, West Devon & Cornwall)
  • Dominic Hazell (Staff)
  • Hazel Hedicker (Staff)
  • Anum Shuja (Staff)

At its extraordinary meeting in April 2020, the Council of Governors agreed that a plan would be developed to ensure that annual elections are maintained from 2021 onwards bearing in mind the need to retain the balance of the different categories of Governors on the Council (as set out as requirements in the Constitution).

The role of the Council of Governors

WHAT THE ROLE IS

Governors provide a vital connection between the RD&E and its patients, the community it serves and its partners. The Council of Governors (CoG) has a real say in the RD&E’s future priorities and who fills key posts on the Board.

It holds the Board and Non-Executive Directors to account, individually and collectively, for the performance of the Board of Directors.

Governors represent the broad interests and views of local people to the Trust’s Board, and feed back information about the Trust's performance to the communities we serve.

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Governors represent the broad interests and views of local people to the Trust’s Board, and feed back information about the Trust's performance to the communities we serve.

This means discussing things like major new service developments, the annual report and accounts, and how members are being recruited and kept informed.

The Council meets four times a year and, in addition, many Governors also participate in informal working groups: 

  • CoG Coordinating Committee
  • CoG Effectiveness Working Group
  • Member and Public Engagement Working Group
  • Patient Safety & Quality Working Group

WHAT THE ROLE IS NOT

The RD&E is committed to listening to your views and experiences about the Trust and your feedback helps us to continually improve our services. Governors play a key role in representing these views as a collective.

They do not, however, represent individual cases.

If you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of your treatment or care, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01392 402093 or rde-tr.pals@nhs.net.

YOUR GOVERNORS

There are 26 seats on the RD&E’s Council of Governors (CoG). This is made up of 19 elected members of the public, 5 elected staff, and 2 appointed individuals from key organisations.

The Council currently consists of 22 Governors, with 4 vacancies. 

If you want to get in touch with our Governors, please email rde-tr.FoundationTrust@nhs.net, stating which Governor your message is intended for.

AllAppointed GovernorsEast Devon Dorset and SomersetExeter and South DevonMid North West Devon and CornwallStaff Governors
Angela Shore photo

Professor Angela Shore

Appointed Governor

Angela Shore photo

Professor Angela Shore

Appointed Governor

Angela is one of two appointed Governors and represents the University of Exeter. She was appointed in 2016, and her term was renewed in 2020.

She is Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences and was Vice Dean Research at the University of Exeter Medical School until 2019. Angela is principal investigator of a large team of scientists and clinicians in vascular medicine based at the hospital. She co-leads the Exeter Centre for Excellence in Diabetes Research with Andrew Hattersley. As Scientific Director of the Exeter NIHR Clinical Research Facility she facilitates Experimental Medicine Research for the RD&E/Medical School collaboration. Angela is currently Chair of the Diabetes and Wellness Foundation project and fellowship committees and a member of the Diabetes Research Steering Group 6 (complications) led by Diabetes UK. Angela was President of the British Microcirculation Society 2017-2020 and Treasurer for the European Society for microcirculation for over 10 years. She is a member of the International Liaison Committee for World Microcirculation Research.

Ian Hall photo

Councillor Ian Hall

Appointed Governor

Ian Hall photo

Councillor Ian Hall

Appointed Governor

Ian is one of two appointed Governors and represents Devon County Council (DCC). He started his term of office in June 2021, which will run until May 2024.

As a District and County Councillor for his hometown of Axminster and its surrounding parishes, Ian has a deep passion for improving public services in both the local community and Devon as a whole. Ian believes that if we put the physical and mental health of individuals at the heart of public services then we will provide more resilient and prosperous communities. During his time as an elected member, he has been designated as a Mental Health Champion for DCC and pushed hard for protections against the most vulnerable in society. This passion permeates outside of his political work in his roles as chairman of Cloakham Lawns (a sports charity which promotes ‘education through sport’ for all ages) and vice-chair of ARC (a unique mental health charity which provides rapid support for the community whilst taking pressure of public services). Ian looks forward to supporting the work of a hospital that has so kindly helped personal relations in the past.

Peta Foxall photo

Professor Peta Foxall

Lead Governor

Peta Foxall photo

Professor Peta Foxall

Lead Governor

Peta has been a governor since 2013 and was re-elected in September 2019 for a term of three years.

Peta is lead governor of the RD&E’s Council of Governors and was elected to that role by her peers in 2017, and then re-elected at the end of 2020. Peta has extensive experience of leading and working in multi-professional teams, primarily within the NHS, higher education, and charity sector. She contributes the voice of patients to the work of governors, based on her experiences and those of fellow patients. Peta is a committed advocate for social action that is inclusive and shows that by volunteering in local communities and at a national level as chair of the Wildlife Trusts and its Our Bright Future steering group, and as a member of the #iwill Partnership, supporting young people to lead on the key issues that connect health and care, wellbeing, education, and the environment.

Tony Wilkinson photo

Tony Wilkinson

Governor

Tony Wilkinson photo

Tony Wilkinson

Governor

Tony was elected as a governor in September 2019 for a term of three years.

Tony begin his career working for the government on tax policy, and then worked commercially offering financial advice to developing countries. He later moved to investment management and finished his financial career with a spell directing IT. In retirement, he has followed a passion for philosophy gained at university by publishing two books on ethics, and is working on a book on political philosophy. He has been an advisor, trustee, and local chair at Citizens Advice. Tony is delighted to contribute as a governor and believes the NHS is one of the best things about our country. He hopes the skills acquired in his varied career will help in holding the Board to account, the central task of the council of governors. He currently serves on the Ethics Committee, the Nominations Committee, and the Governors’ Effectiveness Committee, and is the Governor observer on the Audit Committee.

Kay Foster photo

Kay Foster

Governor

Kay Foster photo

Kay Foster

Governor

Kay has been a governor since 2014 and was re-elected in September 2021 for a term of three years.

Kay is a retired State Register Nurse/Midwife with 30 years of nursing experiences, with 18 years serving as a Nursing Officer with the Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps, retiring as a Major. She gained a wide variety of experiences with international postings, including Saudi Arabia during the First Gulf War. She has a BSc (Hons) in Health Services Management. During her years as a governor, Kay has been a member of several subcommittees and chairs the Public Members' Engagement Group (PMEG). During the COVID-19 pandemic's first lockdown, Kay worked closely with the Budleigh Hub, supporting GPs surgeries with referrals for volunteers to help with shopping, prescriptions, and phone buddies for the Exmouth Community. In August 2020, she became a volunteer at the NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter and developed the role of volunteers' coordinator, working on the wards caring for COVID-19 patients. Kay is very proud to be a Governor at the RD&E. Governors attends high-level meetings and read many documents monitoring performance of the Foundation Trust, observing that the NEDs challenge the Board by understanding areas where performance indicators are adequate or inadequate. As a Governor, she is also an ambassador for the Trust and an advocate for the community.

Barbara Sweeney photo

Barbara Sweeney

Governor

Barbara Sweeney photo

Barbara Sweeney

Governor

Barbara has been a governor since 2017 and was re-elected in September 2021 for a term of three years.

She has lived in East Devon for over 40 years and has recently retired from further education, where she worked in governance. During her working career, she has also held senior positions in management in healthcare and in higher education. Three of her four children work in the NHS, and her late husband was a Professor of General Practice in Exeter. Her particular interest is in the quality of patient experience. She is a strong advocate of remembering the person within the patient, so that they are viewed as an expert and collaborator, rather than recipient, by their healthcare teams. Barbara is a trustee at Hospiscare. Other voluntary roles are as a lay member of the Patient and Public Involvement Group at the University of Exeter’s Academy of Nursing, and as a governor on the Local Governing Body of West Exe School, part of the Ted Wragg Multi Academy Trust. Previous board experience includes eight years as a governor of Exeter College.

Heather Penwarden photo

Heather Penwarden

Governor

Heather Penwarden photo

Heather Penwarden

Governor

Heather was elected as a governor in September 2021 for a term of two years.

Heather is a retired Mental Health Nurse, Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, and Clinical Supervisor. She enjoyed every minute of her long career working within the NHS in Devon, gaining valuable experience on busy wards, in community settings, GP practices, and as a tutor at Exeter University. She has lived experience of being a long-term carer and is passionate about communities working together and in partnership with the statutory care agencies. In her local community of Honiton, Heather has served as Chairman of Governors of Mill Water Special School, and Chair of Honiton Arts Society. In retirement, she is the founding Chair of Dementia Friendly Honiton and is currently Chair of the Honiton Hospital and Community League of Friends. Heather is a strong believer in our NHS being accessible and inclusive for those who need it. She is an active member of any committee she sits on and approaches everything with an open and curious mind.

Rachel Noar photo

Rachel Noar

Governor

Rachel Noar photo

Rachel Noar

Governor

Rachel was elected as a governor in September 2019 for a term of three years.

Rachel is deaf and lives in Ottery St Mary. Her family’s first language is British Sign Language (BSL). Rachel worked with young deaf people at Derby College as an Independent Support Worker, encouraging them to develop independent living skills. She went on to study Contemporary Arts/Computer Animation, gaining an MA. She became a consultant for a disability board for East Midlands Art Council and was a member of the board of EQUATA, an arts agency for Deaf/disabled. She worked as an Advisory Deaf Inclusion worker for Devon County Council, where she supported hearing families with deaf babies and toddlers. This job centred on giving parents confidence to develop their children’s language skills. She also worked with nurseries and schools to develop the inclusion of deaf children in mainstream situations. Since developing MS, she has become the full-time mother of two boys.

Janet Bush photo

Janet Bush

Governor

Janet Bush photo

Janet Bush

Governor

Janet was elected as a governor in September 2021 for a term of two years.

She is a writer and editor specialising in economics. She has worked for management consultants McKinsey & Company for the past 15 years, working on major reports on global trends. Before that, she was a national newspaper and broadcast journalist, working for Reuters, the Financial Times, the BBC, and finally the Times, where she was Economics Editor. She moved to Devon 20 years ago and has lived in Exeter for the past five years. She was treated at the RD&E six years ago for a serious condition, and now is keen to serve the hospital in any way she can.

Faye Dorris photo

Faye Doris

Deputy Lead Governor

Faye Dorris photo

Faye Doris

Deputy Lead Governor

Faye has been a governor since 2016 and was re-elected in September 2019 for a term of three years.

She lives in Exeter and is a retired nurse, midwife, and Associate Professor of Midwifery for the University of Plymouth. She has been an active member of the RD&E Council of Governors and was elected Deputy Lead Governor in 2018. Faye is a member of the RD&E Patience Experience Committee, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group, and the Nominations Committee. She brings to the Council her experience of leadership and management, as well as listening and responding to stakeholders, student, staff, and patient feedback. As a governor, she has seen how crucial the care, safety, and wellbeing of patients and staff are, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. She supports all aspects of inclusivity and is a member of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Working Group at the RD&E. She believes in the NHS providing safe and effective care that is kind, compassionate, and fair to all.

Olwen Goodall photo

Olwen Goodall

Governor

Olwen Goodall photo

Olwen Goodall

Governor

Olwen was elected as a governor in September 2019 for a term of three years.

Now retired from lecturing at Exeter University, her work has been in education and psychology. As a teacher, psychologist, and lecturer for over 40 years, she has worked with all ages in a wide variety of contexts. She has been a school governor for 17 years. Olwen has volunteered regularly, helping to set up and work with the Exeter Rape Crisis Line and now at the Foodbank. In her role as RD&E Governor, she hopes to represent and advocate for service users and their families. She has recent experience of providing an outsider’s perspective, both teaching at the medical school and also public involvement in medical research. Olwen looks forward to supporting the work of a hospital she greatly respects.

Hugh Wilkins photo

Hugh Wilkins

Governor

Hugh Wilkins photo

Hugh Wilkins

Governor

Hugh was elected as a governor in September 2021 for a term of two years.

Hugh is a clinical scientist with 40-years' experience in service delivery, education, and research in hospitals and universities in the UK, Africa, and Asia. Much of this work has involved support for the safe and effective use of radiation in diagnosis, treatment, and research. He has worked in the public, private, and charity sectors. He has been elected to fellowships of five institutions, including the Higher Education Academy and the Chartered Management Institute, and is a Senior Associate of the Royal Society of Medicine. He took particular satisfaction from a Cabinet Office Charter Mark Award for public service excellence to an NHS team which he led. His current portfolio combines voluntary, consultancy, advisory, qualified expert, educational, and leadership roles. This includes review of clinical trial proposals for the Health Research Authority, curriculum design and development for the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, and topic leadership for the charity Patient Safety Learning.

Desmond Kumar photo

Desmond Kumar

Governor

Desmond Kumar photo

Desmond Kumar

Governor

Desmond was elected as a governor in September 2019 for a term of three years.

Desmond was born in Guyana, South Africa on a sugar plantation next to the river Demerera. His family arrived in London in 1962, where he went to school and then moved to Exeter to study Mathematics and Economics at the University. After qualification, he joined the Devon & Cornwall Police force and was posted all around Devon. After running his own business, he taught at Blundell’s School, later moving to schools in Ottery and Honiton. During this time, he coached hundreds of young people in basketball, many who have gone on to represent their country and played in Europe and the USA. He is passionate about supporting our young people and believes that we all need to do our bit to help our community.

Elizabeth Witt photo

Elizabeth Witt

Governor

Elizabeth Witt photo

Elizabeth Witt

Governor

Elizabeth was elected as a governor in September 2021 for a term of three years.

Elizabeth is a retired registered nurse, with a background in both NHS clinical and occupational health and safety. She is a member of the Southwest Ambulance Research Group, and a national health and safety environmental auditor for St John Ambulance, liaising with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). She has held previous roles as director of the former Hospital Savings Association, a former Director of Healthwatch Devon, and was a Public Governor of the Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health Trust Foundation. Elizabeth has a strong interest in the quality of life and services available to people living in our communities, and is keen to see service users placed at the heart of everything the local health and social care services may offer.

James Bradley photo

James Bradley

Governor

James Bradley photo

James Bradley

Governor

James has been a governor since 2014 and was re-elected in September 2021 for a term of three years.

James was a Chartered Environmental Health Officer and Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner who, having completed a military career, had worked in local government, the NHS, and finally as an international consultant. He is a lay member on the NHS England Specialised Services Clinical Frailty Programme of Care Board, Member of Devon County Council Commissioning Involvement Group, Member of South West Academic Health Science Network Quality Assurance panel, Expert Advisor for the University of Surrey on their Therapeutic Radiographer and Dietitian Prescribing Project Advisory Group, Trustee of West Devon Community and Voluntary Services, and Treasurer of Devon Health and Social Care Forum. He is a passionate and committed individual in regards to ensuring that the public voice and perspective is always articulated and the patient perspective is heard whenever and wherever the need arises. His hobbies include gardening, stamp collecting, and helping others, especially his wife. James lives with his wife and cat near Okehampton.

Monika Herpoldt-Bright photo

Monika Herpoldt-Bright

Governor

Monika Herpoldt-Bright photo

Monika Herpoldt-Bright

Governor

Monika was elected as a governor in September 2019 for a term of three years.

She is a retired Cabin Service Director with a degree in education who lives just outside Crediton. Having been raised and educated in Exeter, she is very aware of the needs of the community. She has volunteered for the past 16 years as a Samaritan and was privileged to be their Director. She now has a national role as a Quality Mentor. Having been a cancer patient, and more recently having had one of her sisters undergoing major surgery, she is very aware not only of the negative aspects of the hospital, but more especially what an amazing asset to the community the RD&E is.

Peter Flatters photo

Peter Flatters

Governor

Peter Flatters photo

Peter Flatters

Governor

Peter was elected as a governor in September 2019 for a term of three years.

His previous career concerned the collection, interpretation and presentation of scientific data. After university, he worked for ICI as a Field Team Leader, conducting agrochemical trials on farms across Southern England. Later, he moved into R&D planning with ICI, before transferring to the University of Bristol’s Long Ashton Research Station. When the Research Station closed, he became a Sub-Postmaster in a Devon village. He ran the Post Office for eight years, steering people through varied business, from fishing licences to banking to guiding pensioners through the transition to chip and PIN cards. His background in science, regulation, and customer service provides a sound preparation for Hospital Governance.

Annie Adcock photo

Annie Adcock

Governor

Annie Adcock photo

Annie Adcock

Governor

Annie was elected as a governor in September 2021 for a term of two years.

Annie moved to Devon in 2017 from Somerset, where she served as a Public Governor in the NHS Foundation Trust for five years. She was blessed in 2018 with a knee replacement at the RD&E and is currently a patient within the Trust. Thus she brings both personal and professional experience to this varied role of Public Governor. Her working life involved teaching within Special Educational Needs, and a management role within a charity establishing Communities for People with Learning Disabilities. Annie is passionate about listening to the individual and encouraging empowerment to bring about transformation in community life, and thinks people's NHS experiences should inform future planning within the local area where their physical, mental, and social care needs are met. She hopes to find creative ways to engage with the constituency and the Trust.

Hazel Hedicker photo

Hazel Hedicker

Staff Governor

Hazel Hedicker photo

Hazel Hedicker

Staff Governor

Hazel has been a staff governor since 2013 and was re-elected in September 2021 for a term of two years.

Following a career in the hospitality industry, Hazel commenced employment with the NHS in 1994 and joined the RD&E in March 2000, having previously worked for another large acute Trust in the South West. Having spent 16 years as a senior operational manager within two Facilities divisions, her career changed direction and she joined the Transformation Programme Team in May 2012. Hazel has since project-managed numerous Trust-wide transformation projects, supporting colleagues with both clinical and non-clinical redesign and change. From October 2018 to February 2021, she project managed the Clinical Pathway Improvement workstream within the MY CARE programme. She has recently joined the NDHT and RD&E Integration Programme team as Clinical Strategy Project Manager. Hazel holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and is a fully-qualified Prince 2 Practitioner. She has a keen interest in communications and engagement, in particular the engagement of patients, carers and staff with service redesign and change.

Simon Leepile photo

Simon Leepile

Staff Governor

Simon Leepile photo

Simon Leepile

Staff Governor

Simon was elected as a staff governor in September 2021 for a term of two years.

Simon was a farmer in South Africa and worked in a building society before moving to the UK, where he joined RD&E in 2008, working in Domestic services. In 2015, he was elected as Unison Representative for the RD&E, and later joined Staffside as a rep for RD&E and NDHT. He passionately believes good standards of cleanliness in our hospital and community sites reduces infections and promotes a good quality of life. He also supports the NHS training existing unskilled employees to help tackle the staffing shortages. Simon has used his Staffside time to train colleagues in basic use of computers, to enable them to access information and complete training. He is also passionate about improving communication between management, staff, and patients to improve service delivery. He believes in charitable work and helping those in need. Simon spends his spare time with his family and enjoys watching the Springboks play rugby. He is a member of the Mint Methodist Church in Exeter and registered with Exeter City Council as a taxi driver.

Rob Biggar photo

Rob Biggar

Staff Governor

Rob Biggar photo

Rob Biggar

Staff Governor

Rob was elected as a staff governor in September 2019 for a term of three years.

He is the lead physicist in radiotherapy treatment planning, with a background of 10 years providing service development and direct patient care, within oncology. Rob had experience at different NHS trusts across Merseyside and Wirral before moving to the RD&E. Rob’s role requires solving complex clinical, scientific and technical problems relating to bespoke radiotherapy treatments, and improving patient safety and cancer outcomes. He is a member of the Institute of Physics and a chartered scientist.

Anum Shuja photo

Anum Shuja

Staff Governor

Anum Shuja photo

Anum Shuja

Staff Governor

Anum has been a staff governor since 2019 and was re-elected in September 2021 for a term of three years.

Anum has over a decade of experience in client services and relationship management. She has worked for both the private and not-for-profit sector, including Canada’s Revenue Agency, post-immigration support agency, a leading commercial bank, and now the NHS. Anum joined the RD&E in 2018, as a Patient Experience Lead for the Community Services Division. This allowed her to continue her ambition of working in the service industry in a role that focused on care for others. Anum is passionate about the NHS as a service user and an employee. She believes that the organization should continue to strive for the highest level of care, by ensuring the staff, patients, and carers are at the centre of every decision made. Anum is a vocal and valuable member of the Council of Governors. She is particularly interested in improving communications between the Trust and its stakeholders, and as the Chair of the Public and Members Engagement Group, she wants to support the Trust in achieving this. In her spare time, Anum enjoys spending time with her family and volunteers at her local school.

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