Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is the main provider of a wide range of specialist health and social care services to individuals and families across Cumbria. The Partnership works closely with GPs and 14,000 members in an effort to improve the health and well-being of the county’s residents by delivering high-quality, community-based healthcare services. The Trust was established 4 years ago and employs 4,000 staff serving a population of half a million.

The Challenge :

The Trust has a total of 30 elected public governors, serving Copeland, Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, South Lakeland, Eden and Carlisle. Each local authority district is represented by 5 members. The problem facing the Trust was that for two years it had struggled to find and recruit public governors to represent Barrow-in-Furness.

The Solution :

UK Engage already had an excellent working relationship with the Trust, having worked on previous elections. After consultation between the Trust’s membership manager Harriet Mouat, UK-Engage account manager Kelly Mallon and Returning Officer Tony Slater, it was decided that UK-Engage would draw up a plan to help to tackle this problem.

  • An action plan was agreed and UK-Engage supported the Trust by putting together a special newsletter for members in Barrow-in-Furness, accompanied by a personal letter from the Trust Chairman inviting members to find out more about the Trust and the role of Governors.
  • In addition to designing, printing and mailing the newsletter to members, UK-Engage supported the Trust by helping to run a workshop for interested members at which the role and responsibilities of governors was explored. Speakers included the Trust Chair Mike Taylor and current governors as well as Tony Slater.
  • Members had the opportunity to learn about writing effective election statements and to have their photo taken free of charge.

The Result :

  • Nine members attended the workshop. Five decided to put their name forward for nomination filling the vacancies on the Governors’ Council.
  • Although no election was required, teamwork involving the Trust and UK-Engage ensured that the vacancies were filled and that Barrow is now properly represented on the Governors’ Council for the first time in two years.

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