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Our members matter

By Rachel Tomkys, Online Editor

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) was authorised as a Foundation Trust on 1 March 2012. The Trust has recruited 8,400 members, around 1,000 of which are young people. We talked to Alix Seeley, Junior Membership Marketing Manager (pictured right), to find out more about the role of the Members’ Council and how staff can get involved. A growing community “Our Foundation Trust members include staff, patients, their families and the general public. Members can choose their level of involvement and participate in all sorts of activities, such as taking part in focus groups, online surveys, volunteering in hospital projects and joining discussions on how services can be improved. “It’s very early days for us as a Foundation Trust, but we’ve had two Members’ Council meetings since authorisation. The Council is made up of 28 elected and appointed councillors, plus the chair. It represents patients, parents and carers, the public, staff and other partner organisations.” Getting involved Alix works closely with Rehana Ahmed, Public and Patient Involvement and Patient Experience Officer, and together they identify opportunities for Foundation Trust members to get involved. Opportunities are publicised on the hospital website in the Foundation Trust section at www.gosh.nhs.uk/ftgetinvolved, as well as in a monthly email sent to members. Another key vehicle for communicating upcoming projects is the Foundation Trust newsletter, Member Matters.

Alix explains: “We send this out twice a year and use it to let members know the latest Trust news, key dates, and events and activities undertaken by the hospital and the charity. We hope that by reading the ‘get involved’ section, members feel inspired to want to take part in hospital volunteering projects.” If staff would like to recruit Foundation Trust members for any upcoming projects, they should contact Rehana on 020 7405 9200 ext 1378 or email rehana.ahmed@gosh.nhs.uk Going forward GOSH has not long been a Foundation Trust, but already there are lots of exciting opportunities on the horizon.

There are currently plans to establish two new working groups for councillors. Alix says: “The first is a Membership and Engagement Group, which will be responsible for reviewing the membership strategy and identifying opportunities to attract new members. The second working group is the Membership Communications Group. This group will identify content for the Member Matters newsletter and consider additional methods for communicating with Foundation Trust members.” To find out more about getting involved, go to www.gosh.nhs.uk/ftgetinvolved Staff membership If you have a permanent contract with GOSH we will automatically enrol you as a Foundation Trust member. You will also be enrolled as a staff member if you have worked at GOSH for more than 12 months as of 1 April 2011 and are in one of the following groups:

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•G  reat Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity staff • Volunteers •T  he Children’s Hospital School at Great Ormond Street and UCH staff • Social workers at GOSH • Contractors on the GOSH site • Honorary contract holders You can opt out if you don’t want to be a member. If you’re not on a permanent contract and have worked in the Trust for less than 12 months, you can join as a public member at www.gosh.nhs.uk/foundation

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Roundabout, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity