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Trust helps pioneer e-voting system for governor elections

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has become one of the first NHS trusts in the country to use e-voting for its forthcoming governor elections.

E-voting will enable any of its 13,000 Trust members and 4,000 staff to vote in the governor elections in December, using their computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones. They can however still vote via traditional postal ballot paper, if they choose.

The Trust is currently seeking 11 new governors for its board to help shape the future of the mental health organisation.

Trust Secretary, Robert Nesbitt, said: "We believe the addition of the new e-voting system will make the voting process far easier for what is now the technology and smartphone generation. It will also save on the cost of old style ballot papers and postage.

"The e-voting initiative is now in place and has been written into the Trust's constitution after being approved by both the Board of Governors and then the Board of Directors this month."

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's Board of Governors is made up of 23 seats across its six constituencies, with governors holding a three-year tenure.

There are public and service user vacancies in Norfolk, and public, service user and a carer vacancy in Suffolk. There are also two Trust-wide staff governor vacancies. 

Mr Nesbitt added: "Governors are people from all walks of life, represent the diversity of our community and can be from a range of age groups. All, though, have to have one thing in common: a passionate interest in mental wellbeing and a desire to see our Trust develop and thrive.

"It takes time, skills and commitment to carry out this important role, from listening to the views of the public, arranging key engagement events and conferences to making crucial decisions with regard to the appointment of the chair and holding the non-executive directors to account.

"Governors act as 'critical friends' to the Trust and so we want to make as easy as possible for members to vote."

The Trust has organised two information sessions for its members interested in finding out more about becoming a governor.

Norfolk Information Session
Thursday, 6 November, 3-4.30pm
The Board Room, Hellesdon Hospital, Drayton High Road, Norwich NR6 5BE.

Suffolk Information Session
Friday, 7 November, 2-3.30pm
Rembrandt Room, St Clement's Hospital, Foxhall Road, Ipswich IP3 8LS. 

Members interested in attending the sessions or receiving more information, should email or call 01603 421468.


The 11 governor vacancies are:
Two Norfolk public members
One Norfolk service user
Three Suffolk public members
Two Suffolk service users
One Suffolk carer
Two staff (Trust-wide)

Nomination forms are only available from 3 November (note only ERS can provide these forms):

Ciara Norris,
Electoral Reform Services Ltd.,
The Election Centre,
33 Clarendon Road,
London N8 0NW
020 8889 9203  

The closing date for nominations is noon on 18 November and the results of the election will be announced on 31 December.