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, these resources will help you learn more about the Governor role.

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:


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: November 22, 2022