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Our Governors

Our Council of Governors acts as a link between service users, carers, staff, the general public and the Trust's Board of Directors.

They support the Board of Directors in setting the long-term vision for our organisation, and hold the non-executive directors to account for the actions of the Board. Our Board of Directors has a duty to consult, and listen to the views of, the Council of Governors.

Photo of Pádraig Belton

Pádraig Belton

Job title Public Governor

I've had many friends be part of SLaM over the years—as psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, nurses, and service users. It plays such an important role in mental health in London and globally. I'm grateful to be able to contribute my communications and governance experience as an elected public governor.

As a journalist, writing regularly for the BBC, I have covered clinical and research developments in mental health. I've written five short academic books published by Routledge, and received a Fulbright fellowship and RUSI’s Trench-Gascoigne Prize. I am finishing a doctorate at Oxford, and along with other teaching I work with university applicants at an inner-city London sixth form. In my governance experience, I'm a school governor of the Harris Academy South Norwood, one of the UK’s largest secondary schools with 2,000 students. There I have learnt much about mental health issues affecting students after lockdown.

I'm secretary of Ted’s Light, a non-profit working with children in care. I'm also on the board of Irish in Britain, a national charity very involved in older immigrants' mental health needs. I am myself an Irish immigrant. Besides, I have reported from, and lived in, Pakistan, Russia, China, Latin America, and the Middle East, all regions represented among SLAM's service users. During the Coronavirus pandemic, I joined St John Ambulance and volunteered in London A&E departments.

In 2015, I ran the length of Ireland for Macmillan Cancer Support, a year after cycling Land’s End to John o’Groats for the Royal London Hospital. 

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Contact your governors

If you have a question for your governors, please email governors@slam.nhs.uk

The Council of Governors is made up of:

  • Appointed members from organisations that the Trust works with
  • People who use the Trust's services elected by our membership
  • Carers of people who use the Trust's services elected by our membership
  • Members of the public elected by our membership
  • Members of staff elected by our membership

The Council's responsibilities include:

  • Appointing the Chair and other non-executive directors
  • Removing, if three quarters of the council of governors decide that it is necessary, the chair or other non-executive directors
  • Approving, by a majority, the appointment of the Chief Executive by the non-executive directors
  • Appointing or removing the Trust's auditor
  • Supporting and engaging with the Trust board
  • Holding the non-executive directors to account for the performance of the Trust Board
  • Representing the interests of the members of the Trust as a whole and the interests of the public
  • Approving 'significant transactions'
  • Deciding whether non-NHS work would significantly impact on the Trust's core role
  • Approving, by an overall majority, an application by the Trust to enter into a merger, acquisition, separation or dissolution
  • Approving amendments to the Trust's constitution

Governors review

The governors review includes information about the role of governors and their activities over the preceding year:
Governors review 2021-22

Governors review 2020-21

How to become a governor

Governors are elected to the Council of Governors from the public, service user, carer and staff constituencies. Elected governors serve a three-year term on the Council of Governors. Governors are also appointed by partner organisations. 

If you are interested in becoming a governor, vacancies will be advertised here or you can contact us to find our more via governors@slam.nhs.uk

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