Introducing Your Governors

Posted on Mon, 18/01/2021

The governors are working with the Trust on your behalf. They represent your interests.  You can help them carry out their role effectively by giving them your views.  Tell them how you think services could be improved.  Pass on the ideas and suggestions you feel would enhance patient care or the working lives of staff.  Let them know what you think your hospital should offer.

What governors do?

The role of your governor includes:

  • Representing the interests and views of all their constituency members, the general public and staff across the organisation
  • Giving you information about the hospital, its vision and its performance
  • Selecting and appointing the non-executive directors and the chairman
  • Approving the appointment of the chief executive
  • Attending meetings of the Council of Governors
  • Monitoring performance against the Trust’s strategy and other targets
  • Using their influence through the Council of Governors to advise the hospital’s Board of Directors
  • Approving the remuneration of the chairman and non-executive directors
  • Supporting other governors, and each other, to understand how the Trust operates

Who are our new governors? 


Geoffrey Riddell – Western Constituency

I hope that previous experiences would enable me to see the NHS and the Trust in a positive way to allow me to be of assistance. These cover a variety of areas starting with joining the Merchant Navy then through to business where I eventually became Managing Director of a large distribution company.  I was regional representative for the FSB and travelled to Westminster to talk and meet with MPs and Ministers. I served in the RNXS at HMS Calliope and later when disbanded, joined the Special Constabulary with Northumbria force serving at the West End then as Head of the Specials in Washington. I have also worked with charities involved in education and via Rotary in which I was a local President. Hopefully the knowledge I have gained will be positive for the Trust.

Patrick Usher – Patient/Out of Area Constituency

I have had the benefit of excellent care provided by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead since 2009 both as an inpatient and currently as an outpatient. During normal times I volunteer my time in the teaching department with Dr Helen Curtis as a specimen patient for student doctor training. My experience of the QE to date, I feel would make me competent in the role of Governor.

Steve Connolly – Staff Constituency 

Hello my name is Steve Connolly, I am currently a Volunteer with Patient Experience team at QE Gateshead. I have over 40 years experience working within Health and Social Care, having trained as a Registered Nurse. Making sure patients get the highest standards of compassionate care is very important to me and for that reason I worked for the Care Quality Commission as a Clinical Advisor assisting with inspections of care homes. I feel that I can bring this experience to my governors role. I have previously been a governor with the Trust, but now I am an active member of the patient experience team. Being a Staff Governor will give me the opportunity to represent and support all staff within the Trust, and be an advocate to ensure staff have a voice in the organisation.

Marceline Ndam – Staff Constituency

As a nurse and BAME staff network chair, I have 4 years' experience within our organisation working on a care of the elderly ward. I am passionate about nurturing and maintaining an inclusively diverse environment, which not only improves staff health and wellbeing, it encourages them to come to work with their whole self. My priority as a staff governor will be to foster and promote the tenets of inclusion, diversity and equity so that no member of the Trust feels disadvantaged based on their attributes including the protected characteristics of the Equality Act. My intention is to be a great ambassador for our Trust by adhering to the code of confidentiality, seeking, listening and presenting the diverse views of our staff in an authentic manner without compromising my professionalism. I believe my great interpersonal skills, infectious enthusiasm and effective communication will be instrumental to my success at this role.

How do I contact them?

You can write to your governor or email them at Make sure you state which governor you wish to contact.

For further information please contact the Membership Office on extension 6043.

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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