South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides NHS community and mental health services in Barnsley, is holding elections to fill four public places on its Members’ Council.
Over 14,000 people have so far become members of the Trust across the areas it serves – Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. Having a large membership helps the Trust work closely with local people to plan and deliver services that meet the needs of local communities.
Members are represented by the Members’ Council. The Council’s role is to make sure that the board of directors, which retains responsibility for the day to day running of the Trust, is accountable to the local community.
The Members’ Council is made up of elected representatives of public and staff members and nominated members from key local partner organisations. The Council formally meets a minimum of four times a year.
When community and mental health services in Barnsley joined the Trust in May 2011, it was agreed that four public seats on the Members’ Council should be filled by people from Barnsley. The numbers of seats on the Council are allocated depending on population size of the district.
Nominations are invited from Barnsley residents and must be made by Tuesday 14 June 2011. Nominated individuals must be a member of the Trust to be eligible to stand for election – anyone over the age of 16 can become a member.
The Trust’s Chair Joyce Catterick said, “Our Trust is a dynamic, forward-thinking organisation that aims to continually provide high quality care. The Members’ Council is a vital part of the Trust as it ensures members are involved in improvements to services and that local people have a continued voice in the organisation to influence decisions.
"I’d really like to encourage our members in Barnsley to consider standing for election and fill these vital roles. I’d also like to encourage local people to become a member of the Trust so you are able to vote for your preferred representative.”
To make sure that the elections are completely independent and transparent, the Trust does not have any part in them. Instead the Electoral Reform Service (ERS) is conducting the elections. Charlene Hannon from the ERS can be contacted on 0208 365 8909 to answer any questions about the elections.
To become a member of the Trust call 01924 327567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, find out more about membership and the Members’ Council at www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk.