How many of you know who your Council of Governors representative for East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust is?
How many of you know who your Folkestone & Hythe representatives are?
Governors have a duty to represent the interests of the members of the Trust and the public.
The Council of Governors are primarily responsible for assuring the performance of the Trust’s Board of Directors in discharging its responsibilities.
It would appear the Governors have failed in their remit.
In August 2020 the CQC visited the Trust and found they were harming patients in their care [Hospital Acquired Covid]. This led the CQC to issue the first section 31 order under the Health & Social Care Act 2008, because the Trust was harming patients in its care, during the first five months of the Covid pandemic.
Figures showed that by the end of July 2020, 58% of the trust’s coronavirus patients “probably” or “definitely” caught the virus in hospital – compared to a national average of 22%.
In Oct 2020, the BBC reported “Managers and medics told BBC News that people are fearful of speaking up amid a bullying, blame culture at the East Kent Hospitals Trust.” One manager went onto say the trust leadership is “so arrogant that it will not listen“.
What if anything have the Council of Governors done about these worrying issues?
Moving on, how many of you know we have three Governors who are members of the Conservative party and one who belongs to the Liberal Democrats, sit on the 13 strong Council of Governors, who represent a population of 720,500?
The two representatives for the Folkestone & Hythe District (population approx 113,000) are Carl Plummer and Liz Baxter (pictured below).
Carl was a member of the Conservative Party but has now stepped down. He is also a member of the SEcamb trust. His register of interests are in the process of being updated. Liz Baxter declares nothing on her register of interests.
Both of these representatives have a duty to seek the views of members and the public on material issues or changes being discussed by the Trust and communicate to directors of the FT the interests of members and the public rather than just their own personal views.
Have either Carl or Liz sought your view on the new hospital earmarked for Canterbury, which according to the Prime Minister, is a foregone conclusion?
And let’s not forget the man who has offered to build the hospital at Canterbury – Mark Quinn of Quinn Estates – in return for permission to build 2,000 homes, has donated in excess of £125,000 to the Conservatives both locally in Kent and nationally
There is an understanding (rarely made explicit) that donations buy political access and favourable consideration in policy development and legislation. Why else would companies, which are bound by law to pursue profits, make these donations?
The payment of donations to political parties are legal and legitimate we stress.
If you want to add your voice to the debate around the two options under consideration for healthcare in East Kent, which includes the option of a new hospital at Canterbury, then we strongly suggest you become a member of the Trust.
You can do this by filling in the short online form ⇒ here
There are benefits to becoming a member of the Trust such as:
Members are able to elect representatives onto the Council of Governors which holds the Trust’s Board of Directors to account.
Members can stand for election as a member of the Council of Governors.
The Council of Governors allows members to give their views on the Trust’s activities and influence the development of the Trust’s services.
Members can help the Trust develop their services to make sure they meet the needs of the local communities.
Members who provide an email address will receive an electronic copy of the Trust newsletter ‘Your hospital’. This will keep them up to date with all the latest news, events and developments that is going on throughout all the East Kent Hospitals.
Members will receive a Governor newsletter five to six times a year, which keeps them up to date with the activities of the Council of Governors and give opportunities for Members to engage.
Members are able to access a special discount scheme which is only available to people working for, or closely with, the NHS.
By becoming a member of Trust you would be better placed to influence any potential decision about a possible new hospital at Canterbury.
Finally if you want to contact your Trust member you can do so by emailing
The Shepway Vox Team
The Velvet Voices of Dissent