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 email or post when an election takes place.

If you are interested in becoming a Governor, please download our Prospective Governors booklet: 2022 edition

Governor elections 2022

This year sees our first election to the Council of Governors since becoming the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, following the merger of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

Prospective Governor Briefing session - book your place here

To find out if the role is for you, we recommend you join our online ‘Meet a Governor’ webinar, where you can hear first-hand from some of our current Governors and ask any questions. You do not need to attend this sessions in order to stand for election.

  • Thursday 29 September, 12.30pm-1.30pm

For further details, and to book your place, click here.

If you have any further queries about booking your place or the elections process, get in touch.  Email the communications and engagement team at

Information about the Governor role

If you are interested in becoming a Governor, these resources will help you learn more about the Governor role.

Vacancies in the next election

We have the following posts available in our next election.

Posts included in this election – 12 in total (6 Public, 6 Staff)

Public Governors and constituencies:

  • Eastern (East Devon, Dorset & Somerset & Rest of England) – 1 post for a term of two years
  • Northern (Mid, North, West Devon & Cornwall) - 2 posts (one for a term of one year and one for a term of two years)
  • Southern (Exeter & South Devon – 3 posts (one for a term of three years and two for terms of two years)

Please note that if you wish to stand for election as a Public Governor you will need to become a member if you are not already.

Staff Governors

There are 6 posts (two for terms of three years, two for terms of two years and two for terms of one year).  For the 2022 election, we are protecting two posts for candidates whose previous primary employment was with Northern Devon Healthcare Trust.

Click here for the formal Notice of Election.

Election timetable

  • Nominations open: 26 September 2022
  • Deadline for receipt of nominations: 11 October 2022
  • Voting opens: 31 October 2022
  • Voting closes: 18 November 2022
  • Results declared: 21 November 2022 – Governor terms of office begin on this date

For more information, please email Royal Devon membership office at:

To find out more or to request a nomination pack from our election services provider, CIVICA:

Telephone:    0208 889 9203
Text:              Text 2FT RDE and your name and address to 88802
Post:              Civica Election Services
                      The Election Centre
                      33 Clarendon Road
                      N8 0NW

Election in July and August 2022

Elections to the Council of Governors were held in July and August of this year.

Please click here for the Notice of Election.

Please click here for the Uncontested Report. Following the close of nominations, 9 valid nominations were received and all 9 candidates are duly elected unopposed.

Public Governors

Eastern – Rachel Noar (re-elected unopposed)
Northern – Catherine Bearfield, Dale Hall, George Kempton, Carol McCormack-Hole, Jeffrey Needham, Annette Tadman - all newly elected
Southern – Gillian Greenfield and Richard Westlake – newly elected

The terms of office will commence at the Trust’s Annual Members Meeting on 28 September 2022.

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 England3 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 & Cornwall2 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%

Staff4 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 were:

  • 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).


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Last updated: September 26, 2022