IF Coun Denise Reaney (Sacked after care home row, April 12) has been ‘thrown off’ the Council of Governors of Sheffield Health and Social Care Foundation Trust (SHSC Trust) for expressing the views of the people she represents, this ill-advised expulsion is strictly contrary to the trust’s own policy of inviting people on to their board to do just that.
It says in their annual report: “Governors are representatives of Trust members.” They are asked by SHSC Trust to represent ‘the perspectives of the membership constituencies and partner organisations from which the members of the council are drawn’.
By speaking out against plans to close two homes in Sheffield for elderly dementia sufferers, Coun Reaney has followed the rules and fulfilled her governor responsibilities.
A charge of conflict of interest between her governor role and her membership of the local authority’s health and community care scrutiny board seems out of place.
If pursued, it could result in the loss of a Darnall councillor and a non-executive director of SHSC Trust, Coun Mick Rooney, who so ably chairs that committee.
As well as being labelled undemocratic, the organisation may find itself short of strong governor candidates for its council of governors in the future.
Who wants to be sacked for expressing local community views and telling it as it is?
If governors are only entitled to agree with everything SHSC Trust does, or risk being dismissed for voicing legitimate concerns, there’s not much point in having a governing body at all, or a chair who feels empowered to dismiss them at will.
Margaret Angier, Chairperson, Schizophrenia. Treatment. Understanding Ne Plus Ultra