As an NHS Foundation Trust we are accountable to the people we serve in South Tyneside and Sunderland and have greater freedoms to plan local services and respond to the needs and wishes of our communities.

We are authorised and regulated by independent regulators including NHS Improvement and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and have around 14,000 people who have joined us as Foundation Trust members.

We are accountable to our members via a body known as our Council of Governors, which works closely with our board of directors to help inform and influence our strategies and plans. Our Governors are made up of a number of elected public and staff members, as well as appointed representatives who are co-opted from other organisations such as local councils, businesses and the voluntary sector.

Our Council of Governors consists of 26 governors covering the following constituencies:

Chairman (also Chairman of the Board of Directors)

15 Public Governors

  • Durham - Tony Foster
  • Gateshead - Sara Cochrane
  • South Tyneside - Alan Cormack (Lead Governor), Terry Harram, Bashir Malik, Allyson Stewart, Nigel Thomas, Karen White
  • Sunderland - Ross Blenkinsop, Anita Hagan, Kathleen Marley, Pauline Palmer, Narendra Ray, Angela Thompson
  • Rest of North East of England - Louise Thompson

6 Staff Governors

  • Clinical Acute Staff - Simon Ayre, Lindsey Downey
  • Clinical Community Staff - Mark Tull
  • Medical and Dental - Shahid Junejo
  • Non Clinical Staff - Bev Frankland, Jennie Musgrave

5 Appointed Governors

  • Clinical Commissioning Groups  Pat Harle
  • Local Authority, South Tyneside - Councillor Joyce Welsh
  • Local Authority, Sunderland - Councillor Geoff Walker
  • Higher Education Medical Schools - Kenny McKeegan, Scott Wilkes

Why have Governors?

Governors represent the views of and provide a link to our public, staff and partner organisations.

Governors of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust will have the opportunity to:

  • Ensure we are accountable to our members and the communities that we serve
  • Represent the interests of our partner organisations
  • Communicate effectively with our members and help us to develop networks for engaging with the wider community
  • Help us plan for the future by canvassing the views and opinions of members and local communities
  • Influence change, development and improvements to the way we deliver care to our patients and service users

Collectively, governors have an advisory, guardianship and strategic role within the governance of the Trust, which is crucial to our success.

Who can be a Governor?

You can stand for election to our new Council of Governors if:

  • You are a member of the NHS Foundation Trust, (if you are not a member but wish to join our Trust please fill in our online form) link to form
  • You are 16 years or over,
  • You are a member of the constituency you wish to represent
  • You can be appointed to the Council of Governors if you are asked by your organisation to do so, following a formal approach from the Trust.

Governor elections 2019

Elections to our Council of Governors are now closed.  Please find below the results of the election process.  Governors will begin their Term of Office on 1st July 2019.



Meet our Staff Governors

Our Governors play an important role and are a key link between staff members and the Board of Directors. The staff governors you elected work with the Board to help them understand the issues which are important to our workforce. You can help them do this by giving them your views about the Trust. Tell them how you feel about the Trust, how you think services could be improved, pass on the ideas and suggestions to improve patient care, or what’s important to you.

Employees of the Trust can come along and meet our Staff Governors on the following dates:




Staff Restaurant

Sunderland Royal Hospital


11:30 – 14:00

Staff Restaurant

South Tyneside District Hospital


11:30 – 14:00

Room 1




11:30 – 14:00

Staff Restaurant

Sunderland Eye Infirmary


11:30 – 14:00

Round Room

Childrens Centre

Durham Road



11:30 – 14:00

Staff Restaurant

Palmers Community Hospital


11:30 – 14:00

Staff Restaurant

St Benedicts Hospice


11:30 – 14:00

Durham Treatment Centre


11:30 – 14:00


For Community Staff, if more convenient, please contact us to arrange an appointment with your staff governor.  Alternatively, you can contact your staff Governors by emailing the Assistant Trust Secretary at