Governor elections

The majority of governors who sit on our Council 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 their constituency.

Elections are run by an external polling company and members receive ballot papers and information by email or post when an election takes place. To be ready to cast your vote or stand for election, make sure you've signed up as a member.

2024 governor elections

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

To find out if the role is for you, we recommend you join one of our information webinars with a panel of current public governors and Trust staff who support the work of the Council of Governors. You can find out more about the role, hear from some of the 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 can't make a webinar, watch this video featuring our current public governors Kay Foster, Quentin Cox, Richard Westlake and Gillian Greenfield, who talk about their experience of the role and top tips

If you have any questions about the governor role, please email the engagement team at rduh.royaldevonmembers@nhs.net or call 01392 403977.

2024 vacancies

There are 17 posts included in this election (14 public, 3 staff). Some of the 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.

Public governors

  • Eastern constituency (East Devon, Dorset & Somerset & Rest of England) – 3 posts (one for a term of three years, two for terms of two years)
  • Northern constituency (Mid, North, West Devon & Cornwall) - 5 posts (three for terms of three years, one for a team of two years, one for a term of one year)
  • Southern constituency (Exeter & South Devon) – 6 posts (three for terms of three years, two for terms of two years, and one for a term of one year)

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

  • 2 posts for terms of three years
  • 1 post for a term of one year

Election timetable

This year’s election timetable is as follows:

  • Nomination period opens – Friday 19 July
  • Deadline for receipt of nominations – 5pm on Tuesday 6 August
  • Voting opens – Wednesday 21 August
  • Voting closes – 5pm on Monday 16 September
  • Results declared – Tuesday 17 September
  • Governor terms of office begin – Tuesday 1 October at the Annual Members’ Meeting

How to nominate yourself

Elections are run by an external polling company. This year we have selected Mi-Voice (Democracy Technology Ltd).

If you have any questions regarding the election process, require technical assistance, or would like the nomination form in a different format, please contact Mi-Voice Support

  • Email: support@mi-voice.com
  • Telephone: 02380 763987
  • Text: 07800 005280
  • Post: Mi-Voice, First Floor, The Arch Building, Gaters Mill, Mansbridge Road, Swaything, Southampton, Hampshire, SO18 3HW

2023 elections

Election results

Voting closed in our election to the Council of Governors on Tuesday 12 September 2023, with results declared on Wednesday 13 September 2023.  The results were as follows:

Public - Eastern constituency

Heather Penwarden and Kay Foster were both re-elected for terms of 3 years, with Nigel Richards newly elected for a term of 2 years.  The turnout was 15.8%.

Public - Northern constituency

Quentin Cox and Sue Matthews were elected for terms of 3 years; Avril Stone and Brenda Pedroni were elected for terms of 1 year.  The turnout was 16.3%.

Please note that following the resignation of Bob Deed in August 2023, the Council of Governors took the decision under the Royal Devon’s Constitution to include the remaining one year of his term in this election.  The number of posts in the Northern constituency therefore increased from three to four and the candidate receiving the fourth highest number of votes from the constituency members was duly elected for a term of one year.

Staff constituency

Simon Leepile was re-elected for a term of 3 years; Naomi Hallet and Zoe Harris were elected for terms of 3 years, with Clare Stevens and Emily Partridge elected for terms of 1 year. The turnout was 10.7%

There were no candidates in the election in the Public – Southern constituency and six vacancies remained.

The full Report of Voting can be downloaded here. All the Governors started their terms on Wednesday 27 September 2023 at our Annual Members Meeting.

2022 elections

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.

Election Results - November 2022

Voting closed in our election to the Council of Governors on Friday 18 November 2022, with results declared on Monday 21 November 2022.  See here for the Notice of Election and our Notice of Poll

The results are as follows:

Public - Eastern constituency

Maurice Dunster elected for a term of two years.  The turnout was 18.9%.

Staff constituency

Tom Reynolds and Jayne Westcott elected for terms of three years.  Lydia Balsdon and Catherine Bragg elected for terms of two years.  Nicky Stapleton and Cathleen Tomlin elected for terms of one year.  The turnout was 9.9%.

Tom and Jayne both met the ‘Employment Condition’ laid out in our Constitution, in that their previous primary employment had been with Northern Devon Healthcare Trust.  They were therefore treated as if they received one more vote than the highest polling candidate, which meant they received the terms of three years.  The next four highest polling candidates were also elected.  The ‘Employment Condition’ was introduced into our Constitution for this first election as the Royal Devon to ensure representation from our Northern Services’ colleagues on the Council of Governors.

The full Report of Voting can be downloaded here.  All newly elected Governors started their terms on Monday 21 November 2022.

There was an uncontested election in our Public – Northern constituency.  Bob Deed was elected for two years and Ryan Balment for one year, following the drawing of lots by CIVICA, the election services company.  Unfortunately Mr Balment was unable to take up his post on 21 November 2022 for personal reasons and a vacancy therefore remains.

There were no candidates in the election in the Public – Southern constituency and three vacancies remain.

If you have any queries about the election, or about being a member or a Governor, please contact the Royal Devon Membership Team at:

rduh.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).

Last updated: June 29, 2024.