In March, 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 on the 9th April. 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 term 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, 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).