Chance for people to have say on hospital

Hospital manager Elaine Rigden and membership manager Penny Goff discuss the benefits of membership
Hospital manager Elaine Rigden and membership manager Penny Goff discuss the benefits of membership
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THE healthcare trust which is set to take over the running of Whitby’s hospital has invited all residents to take a direct role in the facility’s management.

York Foundation Trust is currently working towards a partnership with Scarborough and North Yorkshire Healthcare Trust, which will see Whitby Hospital placed under a new organisation if the plans are approved by regulator MONITOR.

Foundation trusts have a responsibility to ensure residents have a say about the delivery of healthcare in their area, which is done through a membership community.

This is made up of concerned residents and hospital users who also elect governors to meet with the chief executive and board of governors, holding them to account.

Since there will be no existing members in the Whitby area, the trust has issued a rallying cry and membership manager Penny Goff said: “Because we’re a foundation trust we’re accountable to the public, not the secretary of state.

“Members are all volunteers but they’re a powerful group of people who influence what they do at the hospital.

“People can get involved as much as, or as little as they like.

“It’s the best way of supporting this hospital and if they want to get really involved we will ask them if they want to stand for election as a governor.

“What we would like people to do is come and see this stall at the entrance to the hospital and take the time to read a leaflet and complete the application form.”

Membership for the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is completely free, and members receive four newsletters a year which keep them up-to-date with the state of their local healthcare services.

They can also vote and stand for election as governors, attend special members’ events and have access to a range of discounts and savings from local businesses.

Whitby hospital manager Elaine Rigden said: “The people of Whitby have said so often ‘listen to us’ and this is their chance to make themselves heard.”

For more information visit the display stand in the entrance to Whitby Hospital, contact the members helpline on 0870 7030151 or email the membership office at