Governors’ blog

Our Council of Governors works with the Board of Directors as a ‘critical friend’, helping to shape our future and ensuring that the voices of those who use our services as patients, live in the local community and work for the Trust are heard. A number of governors have blogged about their experiences.

December 2015


  • Carol-singing and present-giving

    by Anna Hodson-Pressinger (Patient Governor)—Following on from the great success of my idea last year at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, [Staff Governor] Lou and I rallied together all the people we could to give gifts.

October 2015


  • Men’s sexual health Medicine for Members event

    by Philip Owen (Public Governor)—This month's presentation of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital's key medical services, by resident consultants, was presented by Nigel Borley, a long term member of our hospital's urology team.

September 2015


  • What does a governor do?

    by Susan Maxwell (Patient Governor)—This is a question I am often asked around the hospital, by both patients and staff, and I could easily reel off a list and leave it at that, except that we do a lot more than that list would suggest. Here’s the list...
  • Reflections of a governor

    by Martin Lewis (Public Governor)—I was elected to the Chelsea and Westminster Council of Governors in 2007 and have since been re-elected twice—in 2010 and 2013. In the early days we were called the members of the Members Council and, subsequently, we changed it to Council of Governors.

June 2015


  • A governor’s farewell

    by Chris Birch (Patient Governor)—After eight years as a governor, I have generously been allowed 500 words to say goodbye to the hospital I love. I was here, accompanying a patient from London Lighthouse, in May 1993 when Her Majesty The Queen opened the hospital, and I’ve got to know it well.


  • Goodbye to Chris Birch

    by Martin Lewis (Public Governor)—Chris Birch has now stood down as one of our longest serving and most active governors. Chris and myself were elected within months of each other in 2007 and he became a very close colleague and indeed a close friend.

April 2015


  • Know your PLACE

    by Susan Maxwell (Patient Governor)—The Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) was replaced in April 2013 by the Patient Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE). Whatever the acronym, these teams were put in place to safeguard the patient in the hospital environment.

January 2015


  • Governors spread Christmas Cheer

    by Anna Hodson-Pressinger (Patient Governor)—After 16 years of helping at our hospital and now as a governor, I found it a real must to do something for patients this Christmas. Last year I quietly went around the several wards specialised for the elderly patients with gifts and chatted to them and found it gave each much pleasure.

September 2014


  • Walter’s gavel falls on our recruitment drive

    by Chris Birch (Patient Governor)—Is he the most stylish of all the people chairing meetings at this hospital? Perhaps. Certainly Walter Balmford is the only chairman of meetings at this hospital that I know who carries his own personal gavel and sounding board to the meetings he chairs.
  • Wendie and the Giggle Doctors

    by Susan Maxwell (Patient Governor)—The Council of Governors was most impressed to hear that patient governor Wendie McWatters has raised more than £20,000 in the last few years in order to entertain children in our hospital. The money has been spent employing Giggle Doctors (two female performers) spreading magic, joy and laughter round the wards, A&E and outpatients.
  • An encounter with the CQC

    by Melvyn Jeremiah (Public Governor)—In July the CQC mounted a full-scale inspection of our hospital, only the second they had ever attempted. For four full days some 40 CQC investigators penetrated every part of the organisation.

October 2012


  • A tour of private maternity

    by Wendie McWatters (Patient Governor)—I recently spent a fascinating couple of hours with Cherry Brennan, Maternity Inpatients Matron & Supervisor of Midwives, and learned a great deal about the improvements that have taken place.

August 2012


  • MediHome enables treatment at home

    by Susan Maxwell (Patient Governor)—There’s no doubt that when we are seriously ill we need the care and attention that a hospital stay provides. However, there are patients whose stay is longer than necessary simply because they continue to need a daily intravenously administered antibiotic or an infected wound dressed, or perhaps they require some physiotherapy. In such circumstances, most of us would rather recover at home than in hospital.

April 2012


  • Funding the Open Day

    by Susan Maxwell (Patient Governor)—The Council of Governors considers it a privilege to fund the Trust’s annual Open Day. Indeed, it’s a wonderful opportunity for patients, their visitors and the local community to see how the clinical, clerical, cleaning and maintenance staff all work as a united team to make Chelsea and Westminster one of the top hospitals in London.

November 2011


  • Our hospital's fight against HIV

    by Chris Birch (Patient Governor)—I am proud to be a Governor of this hospital, and one reason is its outstanding record in the fight against HIV. Two close friends were killed by HIV and the lives of some of my HIV positive friends were saved by this hospital's doctors.

July 2011


  • Infection Control and a tour of Annie Zunz Ward

    by Susan Maxwell (Patient Governor)—It was planned that my first Governor/Senior Nurse Round would start with sitting in on an Infection Control Committee (ICC). Kathryn Mangold, General Manager and Directorate Nurse for Gynaecology and the Assisted Conception Unit, who accompanied me was a little concerned that I would find the meeting a dry affair. She shouldn't have worried because the meeting, chaired by Dr Berge Azadian, the Director of Infection Prevention and Control, proved to be extremely interesting.

April 2011


  • Visit to Annie Zunz Ward

    by Wendie McWatters (Patient Governor)—I visited Annie Zunz Ward for women who are gynaecology inpatients to get a first hand view of its workings. I was welcomed by Ward Sister Mary Knight who is also in charge of gynaecology outpatients.


  • A deep respect for Clinical Site Managers

    by Susan Maxwell (Patient Governor)—When I was asked if I would like to shadow a member of staff for an hour or two, to get an idea of what their job entailed, I initially misheard. I heard the words 'Site Manager' and, for me, this conjured up an image of a hefty engineer in a hard hat clutching a clipboard. However, the person I was to shadow was, in fact, a 'Clinical' Site Manager (CSM) and believe me, that particular job is a different kettle of fish altogether.


  • Visit to Gastroenterology

    by Chris Birch (Patient Governor)—One of the perks of editing a weekly news magazine, which I did for 13 years, is that you get to do a lot of expenses-paid entertaining, and I have had many interesting lunchtime discussions with a wide variety of people.

November 2010


  • Becoming a Foundation Trust member

    by Susan Maxwell (Patient Governor)—A hospital is much more than a building housed within a local community. It is much more than the staff and management who service it. It is much more than the numerous patients who have need of the services provided there. It is the sum of all and as such it is a community in itself.
  • Being a Governor

    by Chris Birch (Patient Governor)—18 years ago I put up a memorial in Westminster Abbey (to a woman who had been dead for 615 years), and I get quite a buzz from owning a very small part of that magnificent church.

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