My priorities as a NHS Trust Governor

Lots of people have asked me recently what I hope to achieve from being a Governor within a healthcare trust which is predominantly mental health.
I have decided to look at 3 areas in more detail during my first year:
The first is the relationship between the trust I am a Governor for and the trust at the local hospital where accident and emergency is based. The trust I am involved with also run another local hospital which has an urgent care centre but not a main accident and emergency. One of my recent blogs talks about my experiences of going to accident & emergency during a MH crisis and I think so much more can be done to work with the main hospital to improve communication and very importantly care. I am sure that not only is the accident and emergency department distressing for patients in crisis but also difficult for staff and other patients in the department. My experience shows that because neither trust had full responsibility or ownership of care it was easy for them to blame each other and therefore increase distress. I am sure that this can be looked at and I know that each trust has so many caring and excellent professionals who would be happy to work together to come up with a more therapeutic crisis arrangement.
Secondly I would like to find out about the treatment of physical health illnesses in those with a mental illness and vice versa. I am concerned that if one or the other is diagnosed first the other is overlooked when it also needs equal treatment. With the NHS trust running both mental and physical health services and this being a recent development I am excited to work with the trust in this area.
Lastly I want to explore with the trust the importance of continuity of care and the benefits of not discharging people with long term conditions only for them to have a distressing and prolonged re-entry to services.
I am excited about my new role and would welcome advice from others or any ideas about what I have mentioned in this blog. Roll on December 12th!

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