Kingston hospital announces governor candidates
A school governor, a councillor and a businessman are among the names standing to be elected as Kingston Hospital governors at the end of the month.
The list of 50 includes Kingston councillor Dennis Doe, Kingston Voluntary Action trustee Robert Markless, Tiffin School governor Fazl-E Hasnain and Alan Percival from patient watchdog Kingston Healthwatch.
The chosen candidates will form a council of governors responsible for holding the trust to account and working with hospital directors.
Michael Walker, of Unison, was concerned members would be voting blind as they have not been given a chance to quiz candidates.
He said: “My fear is patients’ voices are not being represented.
“What we appear to have is a lot of people on one board or another, but not enough speaking up for the people who are going to be using the service.
“We were supposed to have a health service that handed power to the patient. All we have now is a roomful of career politicians.”
The move is part of the hospital bid for foundation trust status, still waiting to be approved, which will give it greater independence from the NHS and the ability to borrow private capital.
The board will be made up of 17 elected public governors, seven from Kingston, four from neighbouring Richmond and two from Elmbridge.
Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton, and Surrey and Greater London will each have one governor.
There will also be four elected staff governors as well as 12 appointed governors representing partner organisations including Kingston Council and Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group.
Critics said foundation hospitals create a two-tier NHS and are not properly accountable to patients as they operate with a small number of members.
An election ballot will be sent to eligible trust members on October 15, which must be sent back to the independent scrutineer by November 2.