North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is a successful forward thinking
provider of integrated hospital and community-based healthcare to around 400,000
people living in East Durham, Hartlepool, Stockton on Tees and surrounding areas
including Sedgefield, Easington and Peterlee.
It provides services from two main hospitals; the University Hospital of North Tees in
Stockton on Tees and the University Hospital of Hartlepool and provides a number of
outpatient and outreach clinics at our smaller community hospital in Peterlee, and in an
increasing number of community locations.
The breast and bowel screening services extend further, across Teesside and parts of
North Yorkshire and County Durham. The Trust also provides community dental
services to the whole of Teesside and many of the other community services also
reach beyond its geographical boundaries. In alliance with North East Ambulance
Services (NEAS) and the local GP Federation the Trust successfully delivers Integrated
Urgent and Emergency Care services at the Hartlepool and North Tees hospital sites.
The Urgent Care Centres incorporate minor injuries and illnesses, GP services and
emergency care practices, Accident & Emergency services are also provided at North
The Trust is an active partner in the development of the Integrated Care System,
previously the Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships in the North East and
North Cumbria in order to drive improvements to care, and work innovatively with key
stakeholders and partners to tackle the health challenges of the local population.
As a Foundation Trust, we are accountable to our membership throughout the areas
we serve. Members have an opportunity to elect Governors, whose role is to
represent the views of the membership, and to hold the Non-Executive Directors of the
Trust to account. In order to develop and deliver an effective strategy, it is important
that the views are representative of the local population to ensure their needs are
being fully met.
2. Aim of the Strategy
The aim of the strategy is to outline how the Trust will continue to maintain a
representative membership which is given opportunities to be involved with and
engage with the Trust’s plans and services. The objectives to deliver this overall aim
are outlined at section 7. The Strategy is supported by:
- An action plan to deliver the key objectives (Appendix 1A);
- Relevant membership data (Appendix 2):
Foundation Trusts have a duty to engage with their local communities and encourage
local people to become members taking steps to ensure that their membership is
representative of the diverse communities they serve.
The Trust had a total of 11,169 members as at 1 April 2019 which included 5,664
public and 5,505 staff members. We propose to maintain our public membership at its
current levels whilst being as inclusive as possible.
The Trust has two constituency areas from which members can be drawn;
- A public constituency divided into five voting areas; patients, carers, volunteers and the public, aged 16 years and over, who live within Hartlepool, Stockton on Tees, Easington, part of Sedgefield (the Trust’s constituent areas) but also any other area in the rest of England;
- A staff constituency.
An individual cannot be a member of more than one constituency and a person who
satisfies the criteria for membership of the staff constituency may not become or
continue as a member of the public constituency.
A person can become a member by one of the following ways:
- by completing a membership application form;
- by joining ‘online’ via the Trust’s website at www.nth.nhs.uk/joinustoday
- by e-mailing [email protected]
Further details on membership, such as eligibility and exclusion, are outlined in the
Trust’s Constitution which is available on the Trust’s website.
3.1 Public Membership Constituency Representatives
Patients, carers, volunteers and the public will be brought together into a single
constituency and membership will be on an opt-in basis.
The Trust will ensure it has, as far as possible, a membership that reflects the varied
communities it serves. The Trust will compare the demographics of the members
recruited with census information relating to the demographics of the population that
the Trust serves. The Membership Strategy Committee will review the demographic
census data and agree an annual recruitment plan.
3.2 Staff Constituency
The Trust wants its staff to be fully involved and engaged in how services are
developed in the future. Staff membership is open to individuals who have a contract
of employment with no fixed term or a fixed term of at least 12 months with the Trust
and/or a subsidiary organisation. Individuals working for, or providing services to the
Trust have been brought together into one constituency. All members of staff
automatically become members as soon as they join the Trust. unless staff notify the
Trust that they wish to opt out.
4. The value of Membership
Members can make valuable contributions to the way in which the Trust manages and
plans its services. There are many benefits of membership engagement.
- Members become more informed about services, about their own health and other health conditions.
- Members can participate in surveys, workshops, focus groups and other member events.
- Elect Governors to serve on the Council of Governors or stand for election themselves.
For the Trust:
- Members understand the value of their membership and remain as members.
- Members become a valuable resource for the organisation, acting as ambassadors or becoming representatives on the Council of Governors.
- Members start to build relationships with the Trust and some get involved in its work.
- Members perceive to have an increased local ownership of services through partnership working. This in turn leads to a mutual understanding of what can be achieved to improve health.
- Conversations can lead to more realistic expectations about health services.
The Constitution identifies that the composition of the Council of Governors should be:
- Public Constituency (21 Governors)
- Other area Public Constituency (1 Governor)
- Staff Constituency (6 Governors)
- Appointed Organisations (8 Governors)
Public Governors are elected by the Public membership and Staff Governors by the
Staff membership. Appointed organisations nominate a representative.
The Council of Governors forms a link between the Trust’s members, the Board of
Directors, the public and partner organisations. Governors have two key statutory
duties: to hold the Non-Executive Directors to account for the performance of the
Board; and to represent the views of the membership and the wider public. Governors
are supported with these duties through induction and training sessions in order for
them to be fulfilled.
6. Building the Membership Base
The Trust’s total membership is c. 11,000 (c. public 6,000 and c. staff 5,000). In
keeping with the Membership Strategy, the Trust aims to ensure public membership is
representative of the communities that it serves and that a majority of public members
is sustained by addressing any natural attrition and membership profile short-falls with
an active recruitment programme. The Membership Strategy is reviewed and
refreshed every two years to ensure it remains fit for purpose and is reflective of the
Trust’s aims and objectives. The Trust’s Membership Strategy Committee continues to
promote awareness of the Trust; enable greater engagement with members, and
develop and implement a strategy to increase membership numbers. The programme
of member events for 2019 have been re-designed to allow shorter but effective
sessions on a single topic, using a variety of methods of delivery as well as being at
different times and days of the week. It is important to keep the sessions we provide
fresh and interesting. We will widen our use of social media and other communication
channels to attract a wider audience including potential new members.
The Trust will build on existing links with its stakeholders and utilise new opportunities
to promote membership. This will include direct targeting of key groups such as:
- Local Schools, Colleges and Universities;
- The Trust’s patients and carers;
- Community and support groups;
- The Trust’s Patient and Public Involvement groups;
- Under-represented sections of the membership database.
The Private Office will:
- Offer membership to everyone in the qualifying constituencies;
- Provide a simple, accessible, well publicised process for becoming a member;
- Encourage staff and volunteers to be active members;
- Recognise members as a valuable resource in the planning and delivery of services;
- Take advantage of Trust events as a means of recruitment;
- Seek to achieve a membership that is representative of the varied communities we serve;
- Maintain a database of members that meets regulatory requirements and assists in developing membership;
- Keep patients, staff, local communities and the wider public informed about the
- Trust’s work in order to promote understanding, partnership working and the recruitment of new members;
- Work with NHS partners across the local health economy to promote co-ordinated approaches when communicating with patients and the public, for example in relation to Integrated Care Systems/Integrated Care Partnerships;
- Review the profile of membership against demographic information on the communities served, and utilise the results to inform future membership recruitment and include in the Trust’s Annual Report and Plan;
- Support the arrangements for membership.
The Council of Governors will:
- Through its sub-committee (Membership Strategy Committee) develop an action plan for maintaining and building up the membership;
- Identify initiatives for raising the profile of membership with staff, patients, carers and the community it serves. This will include:
- Public events, including recruitment stalls at local events;
- Membership information on the Trust’s website;
- Membership information via social media platforms;
- On-going engagement with existing supporters and a range of community and
- support groups;
- Engage with patients and carers through publicity throughout the hospital sites, clinics and community premises across its local community;
- Recruitment events at the Trust’s premises, Universities, Colleges, regional and local events.
7. Membership Strategy Objectives
The initiatives presented above will support the aim to develop and maintain a
representative and active membership.
The 2019 to 2021 Strategy focuses on the following three objectives. The actions required
to deliver the objectives are contained in the Action Plan at Appendix 1.
To recruit those people that have an interest in healthcare and the work
of the Trust, whilst ensuring the membership remains representative of the community;
To engage those members wanting to get involved in the work of the Trust through engagement activities and events; and
To seek the views from the Trust’s members about the services provided by the Trust.
8. Actions in support of the Objectives
8.1 To look for opportunities to recruit as members those people that have an interest in healthcare and the work of the Trust, whilst ensuring the membership remains representative.
Although it has previously been determined that face-to-face contact with members of
the public at events or in trust departments can be an effective way in which to
promote membership of the Trust, this method of recruitment is labour intensive and
time consuming and with fewer volunteers coming forward alternative methods have
been explored. During 2019 stand-alone membership stations will be set-up
throughout the Trust in areas and departments that receive a high throughput of
people who may be interested in becoming a member. The stations will be portable
which means they can easily moved to other areas to maximise the exposure of trust
membership. The stations will contain leaflets and membership forms with directions
given on how to apply. It is hoped this will be an effective and efficient way of gaining
In order to ensure the public membership constituency is truly representative, an
analysis of membership will continue to be undertaken and reported to the Council of
Governors through the Membership Strategy Committee. Where appropriate,
membership recruitment may focus on areas of under-representation among minority
ethnic groups and target community groups in order to make sure that the membership
message reaches these communities.
8.2 To engage those members wanting to get involved in the work of the Trust through engagement activities and events.
The purpose of membership is to influence the Trust’s service provision and plans. In
order to do this effectively, members require an understanding about those services or
plans which they will gain through their own experiences and learning or through
engaging with the Trust. Consequently, it is important they are provided with details
about various engagement opportunities taking place across the Trust so that they can
make an informed decision about whether or not to participate.
The Council of Governors is key to the Trust’s engagement with members; the
Governors have a duty to feed back to their communities. Governors are required
constiutionally to represent the interests of both members of the Trust and of the
public. Engagement with these groups can be facilitated in a range of different ways.
Trusts are required to hold an Annual Members meeting, where members will be
presented with the annual report and accounts. The results of Governor elections and
appointment of any new Non-Executive Directors will also be announced. In addition,
it provides a forum for Governors to engage with members as well as the Board of
Member events will be held 3 to 4 times a year, the agenda and topics will be steered
by trust service developments and new initiatives as well as feedback from members.
The events will provide opportunities for members, stakeholders and the public to
listen to and talk directly to Governors and key representatives from the Trust.
Engagement sessions in clinical areas of the Trust and in community settings can be
developed in order to provide a forum for Governors to hold scheduled sessions where
they can engage, face to face, with patients and the public in order to promote the
benefits of membership and encourage recruitment to those interested in becoming
The Volunteer Co-ordinator will, as part of the Volunteering Strategy, look at how
engagement could be improved through better coordination, communication and a
joining together of different groups, including alignment with activities undertaken
externally under the volunteer banner.
8.3 To seek the views from the Trust’s members about the services provided by the Trust.
Governors have a statutory duty to represent the views of the membership as a whole
and the public. The Membership Strategy Committee has considered ways in which
those views can be captured and these are reflected in the action plan at Appendix 1.
9. Resource required to deliver the Strategy
Sustaining a meaningful membership base involves a significant commitment of time,
resource and engagement. This can be aided by people at all levels throughout the
Trust being willing to engage, and be involved with membership.
Communications, recruitment activity, membership events and the overseeing of the
membership database will be managed by the Private Office, who also provides the
main point of contact for Governors and members.
As the membership budget is limited, delivery of the Strategy is reliant upon:
- A programme of events being developed through the Membership Strategy Committee and the Private Office;
- Governors promoting membership at engagement events;
- All identifying possible recruitment and engagement opportunities;
- Staff promoting the benefits of membership to the people they meet during the course of their work.
10. Evaluation and monitoring
The Membership Strategy Committee will review and monitor progress and
achievement of actions against plan, on a quarterly basis, and report to the Council of
The Trust’s Membership Strategy needs to ensure its membership is meaningful and
representative and that members are given every opportunity to engage with the Trust,
should they so wish. This Strategy aims to address areas of membership recruitment,
retention and engagement through the actions set out at Appendix 1.
Director of Corporate Affairs & Chief of Staff
Appendix 1 – Membership strategy action plan
To recruit those people that have an interest in healthcare and the work of the Trust, whilst ensuring the membership remains representative of the community.
1.1 Action required
Promote membership and its associated benefits with healthcare students in further and higher education and with those undertaking health related studies.
Who to action: Governors, Volunteer Coordinator, Assistant Company Secretary
Expected outcome: Young people and others with an interest in healthcare become members and/or volunteers.
1.2 Action required
Develop revised targeted and accessible promotional material which outlines the benefits of membership.
Who to action: Membership Strategy Committee, Communications, Assistant
Deadline: May 2019
Expected outcome: New updated membership literature is accessible to promote membership in a variety of settings.
1.3 Action required
Utilise and keep up to date the Trust’s website, communication material and social media to promote membership.
Who to action: Communications, Assistant Company Secretary
Expected outcome: Current relevant information about membership is available via different communications channels.
1.4 Action required
Analyse membership data on a quarterly basis to identify any significant gaps and target membership recruitment events accordingly.
Who to action: Membership Strategy Committee
Deadline: Quarterly committee meetings.
Expected outcome: Areas of under representation are identified and addressed.
1.5 Action required
Ensure membership is promoted at relevant events hosted by the Trust.
Who to action: Governors, Communications, Assistant Company Secretary.
Expected outcome: Wider engagement will attract new members.
1.6 Action required
Promote membership in core areas of the Trust utilising volunteers.
Who to action: Volunteer Coordinator/Volunteers
Expected outcome: Membership is promoted with patients and the public accessing services.
1.7 Action required
Promote membership via individual networks.
Who to action: Governors
Expected outcome: Membership is promoted within the community.
To engage those members wanting to get involved in the work of the Trust through engagement activities and events.
2.1 Action required
Encourage staff to invite service users/patients/carers to become members of the Trust
Who to action: Staff Governors
Expected outcome: Those people that experience the Trust’s services become members.
2.2 Action required
Pages on Anthem to be reviewed and refreshed to incorporate specific Governor/member news.
Who to action: Communications Team, Company Secretary
Deadline: Quarterly (each edition)
Expected outcome: Anthem, social media and the Trust website promotes stories and benefits of membership and engagement with the Trust.
2.3 Action required
Explore opportunities to engage people from under represented groups in member events and activites of the Trust.
Who to action: Membership Strategy Committee, Volunteer Coordinator.
Expected outcome: People from under represented groups are encouraged to engage in health related activities.
2.4 Action required
Engage members in the work of the Trust through programme of member events.
Who to action: Assistant Company Secretary
Expected outcome: Members have an opportunity to learn about the work of the Trust, to meet with those people delivering care and to learn more about the NHS.
3.1 Action required
Invite members and the public to meet their Governors at trust events and other settings of the Governors choosing
Who to action: Assistant Company secretary, Governors.
Expected outcome: Members and the public are able to meet their Governors and express their views.
3.2 Action required
Invite feedback from members at the Annual Members meeting and other trust events.
Who to action: Assistant Company Secretary.
Deadline: August 2019.
Expected outcome: Members are given an opportunity to engage with Governors at the Annual Members meeting and other forums.
Appendix 2 – Membership information
|Location||Number of members||Percentage (%) of members|
|Rest of England||250||4|
Strategy document PDF
Click the link below to view our full membership strategy 2019 to 2021 with appendices data:
If you use assistive technology such as a screen reader and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email us at [email protected]