Terms of Reference

Constitution

1.1                The Patients' Council is established under the direction of the Trust Board of Weston Area Health NHS Trust as an independent panel.

Purpose 

2.1       The purpose of the Patients' Council is to work with the Trust to improve services provided by the Trust for the patients and the communities served.

2.2       This purpose is achieved by:

  • representing the views of patients
  • identifying the need for working groups to assist the Patients’ Council, and establish them
  • receiving and considering results of any patient and/or staff surveys
  • considering information received from the Patient Advice & Liaison Services (PALS) Manager
  • contributing to discussions regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of the Trust's use of resources
  • considering presentations and updates from the Trust and others
  • receiving reports from specialist groups
  • contributing to key meetings and committees
  • contributing to evaluations of service, such as infection control
  • introducing new ways to measure the experiences of patients
  • participating in audits of care standards

Membership

3.1       The voting Members will be appointed to the Patients’ Council through a formal application and selection process in order to gain representation of the patients and the communities served. There will be a maximum of 16 voting Members.

3.2       The term of office of any voting Member appointed shall be 3 years from the year in which they become a Member, and to be automatically renewed if required. Appointments are renewable for one further term of office.

3.3       In attendance there will be a representative taken from:

  • the Chief Nurse (responsible Director) or their Deputy
  • the PALS Lead
  • Nominated Trust representatives as determined by the Patients’ Council
  • Minute-taker as nominated by the Trust and the Patients’ Council

3.4       The Chairman and Vice Chairman will be elected from within the Council following a closed ballot by the voting Members and will hold office for a term of two or three years to ensure representation is staggered.

3.5       The Chairman and Vice Chairman may be asked to step down by the voting Members following a closed majority ballot.

3.6       The Chairman and Vice Chairman may resign in writing at any time.

3.7       The Chairman will have a non-voting seat on the Weston Area Health NHS Trust Board, and will be represented by the Vice Chairman in case of absence.

3.8       Vice Chairmanship will not entitle the post-holder to automatic promotion to Chairman.

3.9       All Members appointed to the Patients' Council must undergo a Criminal Records Bureau check via the Trust's Human Resources Department and sign a Code of Conduct approved by the Patients’ Council.

3.10     Voting Members may resign in writing, to the Chairman, at any time.

3.11     If it is deemed by voting Members that any individual has behaved in an unacceptable or disruptive manner, the individual will be asked to leave the Council following a majority vote of no confidence.

Quorum

4.1      The quorum shall be one half, excluding any vacancies, of the complete voting membership, one of whom must be the Chairman or Vice Chairman, rounded up to a whole number. If during the course of a meeting it becomes unquorate, the meeting may continue but no further decisions can be made.

Frequency and Servicing of Meetings

5.1       The Council will meet monthly but would alternate between a formal minuted two hour meeting (as is currently the case) with one hour informal meeting.

5.2       The Council will be serviced by the Trust.

Reporting

6.1       The Patients' Council will report to the Trust Board.

Review & Monitoring  

7.1       The Terms of Reference will be reviewed annually by the Council and the Board. Date of next review, February 2015, unless otherwise determined by the Council