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About membership


Our membership scheme gives local people have more of a say in how we are run and we'd like as many Wirral residents to join us as members as possible. We currently have over 5600 members!


As a member you can vote for governors to represent the area of Wirral you live in. 



Becoming a member will give you the chance to:


  • Find out more about Wirral Community NHS Trust and the wider NHS
  • Shape the future of your community NHS services
  • Get a regular member magazine and come to member events
  • Vote for a governor to represent your area, or stand as a governor yourself
  • Benefit from Health Service Discounts, a discount scheme run for NHS staff and members
  • For younger members especially, being an engaged member of an NHS Trust is a way to improve your CV.


It’s entirely free to join and support your community NHS services.  As a member you might choose to get involved a lot or just read the magazine we send to you by post or email – it’s up to you.


What you can do now


If you're aged 13 or over, fill in our quick online form and sign up today!


Anyone aged 13 or over can become a member, though only people living in our public constituencies can vote for or stand as a governor.   


Get in touch


If you have questions about anything to do with membership please call  0151 514 6342 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




FAQs about Foundation Trusts and our membership scheme


These FAQs should answer many questions about our application to become a Foundation Trust (FT), and our membership scheme. 


If your question isn’t answered here, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will try our best to answer it.

What is a Foundation Trust?


Foundation Trust status gives NHS organisations greater freedom to make decisions that are beneficial to their local population as well as the power to invest any money they make back into their services.


Although Foundation Trust status means that an organisation is free from central government control they are still very much a part of the NHS and remain committed its core principles; treating NHS patients based on need and not on ability to pay.


Why do you want to become a Foundation Trust? 


As a FT we will have more say in how we run our organisation and deliver our services, to benefit the health and wellbeing of our local community.


We will have more independence and will be more accountable to local people, patients, service users and staff.


It is important to us that we develop as an organisation and deliver high quality care that is focussed on the needs of our local community. Becoming a FT will enable us to keep focused on this. 


Is this a step towards privatisation?


No.  We will continue to be firmly part of the NHS.  Our staff will stay NHS staff with all the pension rights and staff benefits.  Our patients will be NHS patients.  We will deliver NHS health and care to patients free of charge.  Our assets cannot be sold except for the benefit of the NHS.



What do you have to do to become a Foundation Trust?


Our application to be a FT has to show that we are legally constituted, financially sustainable, well-governed and locally representative.


The process has been designed to carefully look at every area of our organisation to make sure we are ready to become a Foundation Trust. 


At November 2015 we are in the final stage of the process, which involves an assessment by Monitor, the independent regulator of foundation trusts.


What is Monitor?


Monitor is the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts. Their role is to assess whether an NHS Trust is ready to become a Foundation Trust, regulate existing Foundation Trusts to ensure they meet the standards they signed up to, and support Foundation Trust development.


They act on behalf of the patient and tax payer and are directly accountable to Parliament.



How will you be regulated?


We will also be regulated by Monitor (see above) to ensure we maintain the standards we signed up to and will be regularly inspected and reviewed by the Care Quality Commission.


In addition, each year we will show our Annual Report and Account to Parliament. 



Who will you be accountable to?


Our Council of Governors are made up of public members, staff members and key partner organisations. Public and staff members are elected from and by our staff and public members.. Key partner organisations have appointed six of our governors.


The aim of the Council of Governors is to give us more local accountability. The Council of Governors will work with the Board of Directors to make sure that decisions are fair and in the best interest of our patients, representing members and the public and holding the board to account on their behalf.



Why have you chosen 13 as the minimum age for membership?


We believe that it is important to represent all of the public members that we serve including young adults. The views of all of our members are equally important on the Trust’s journey.


We also recognise that those finishing school and starting college are the healthcare professionals of the future and we want to make sure that they get a chance to become really involved in the Trust and share their views.



Why have you chosen 16 as the minimum age for being a governor?


Sixteen is the youngest age we could set as our minimum for governors.  We feel that, as we provide a large number of services to young adults, they should also have the opportunity to shape our services and have their say.



I am already a member of another local Foundation Trust.  Can I be a member of your Foundation Trust?


Yes, as long as you live in Wirral or Neston in one of our proposed constituencies you can become a member of our Trust, whether or not you are a member of another Foundation Trust.



What will Foundation Trust status mean for staff?


Because of the importance we place upon our staff we want them to be automatically included as a member if they:


  • Are employed by the Trust on a permanent basis
  • Or, have a fixed term contract of more than a year
  • Or, have been continuously employed by the Trust for more than 12 months


Our staff can ‘opt out’ of automatic membership if they want to.  Staff can also be involved in all of the same activities as public members



Can I become a governor for more than one FT?


Not usually, but it is sometimes possible. It would depend on the constitution of both organisations.



Are governors paid?


No.  The work taken on by Governors is voluntary, but they are provided with the training and support they need to fulfil their role effectively and some expenses will be paid.



Will I be treated any differently as a patient if I am a member or governor?


No.  All patients are equal and, as such, all have the right to receive the same quality of care.  This is the case for any patient whether they are a member or governor or neither.



What is the difference between a Non-Executive Director and a governor?


Non-Executives are paid to ‘shadow’ the Executive Directors and make sure that the Trust runs effectively and smoothly as a business.


A governor is a voluntary role.  Governors make sure that the Trust is accountable to its public and staff.  They also make sure the views of those groups are heard by the Board of Directors.

Last Updated: Thursday, 03 November 2016 11:23

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