Governor elections


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.

Elections to the Council of Governors will be held in July and August of this year, so now is the time to start thinking about whether you would like to put yourself forward for the role.

Prospective Governor Briefing sessions - book your place here

To find out if the role is for you, we recommend you join one of our online Prospective Governor briefing sessions on Tuesday 28 June or Monday 4 July, where you can hear first-hand from some of our current Governors and ask any questions. You do not need to attend one of these sessions in order to stand for election. 

To book your preferred session click on the dates below.

If you have any further queries about booking your place or the elections process, get in touch.  Email the communications and engagement team at rde-tr.royaldevonmembers@nhs.net

Information about the Governor role

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

We have the following posts available this year, some of which are new as we have increased the number of Governors on the Council following our merger.  Other posts included are those of current Governors, who are coming to the end of their term and are eligible to stand again, should they wish to. We also had a small number of vacant posts.

2022 Vacancies

We have the following posts available this year, some of which are new as we have increased the number of Governors on the Council following our merger.  Other posts included are those of current Governors, who are coming to the end of their term and are eligible to stand again, should they wish to. We also had a small number of vacant posts.

Posts included in this election – 19 in total (14 Public, 5 Staff)

Public Governors and constituencies:

  • Eastern (East Devon, Dorset & Somerset & Rest of England) – 2 posts  (one for a term of three years, one for a term of two years)
  • Northern (Mid, North, West Devon & Cornwall) - 7 posts (three for terms of three years, three for terms of two years and one for a term of one year)
  • Southern (Exeter & South Devon – 5 posts (three for terms 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 5 posts (two for terms of three years, one for a term 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.

Election timetable

This year’s election timetable is as follows:

  • Nomination period opens – 1 July 2022
  • Deadline for receipt of nominations – 18 July 2022
  • Voting opens – 5 August 2022
  • Voting closes – 25 August 2022
  • Results declared – 26 August 2022
  • Governor terms of office begin – 28 September 2022 at the Annual Members Meeting

Nomination packs will be available from 1 July 2022. To request a nomination pack from the external election provider, CIVICA Election Services:

Alternatively you can email the Royal Devon membership office at: rde-tr.royaldevonmembers@nhs.net

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: June 22, 2022