Foundation Trust Membership

What is a foundation trust?

Foundation trusts are NHS organisations accountable to the public through their membership. It means we are able to make better and more flexible use of our money, helping to plan for future investments, supporting developments, and improving local services.

Our membership is made up of local people with an interest in the Trust (including patients and carers). It also includes our colleagues and representatives from partner organisations.

Why become a member?

Members make a real difference to the way services are developed and delivered in Somerset.

We value the involvement of those who use our services or may need to in the future, including families, carers, and local communities. Members have a direct influence on the services we provide – learning from your experiences, we can continue to develop our services to best support those who use them.

Membership is free, and anyone can become a member as long as you are over the age of 16 and live in the UK. We want to ensure that our membership is representative of the wide range of people we care for, who work for us, and who live in the communities we serve.

What kinds of things can a member be involved in?

Becoming a member doesn’t need to take up lots of your time – you can contribute as much or as little as you wish.

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved, whether you have 10 minutes or 3 hours to spare.

In 10 minutes…

…you can:

  • Send an email to our governors – share your feedback and ideas with our governors on governor@somersetft.nhs.uk. You can also choose to meet a governor – email the governors email address and let us know which governor you’d like to meet
  • Help to recruit new members – we would like more young members and their families to join our membership, so please encourage your family and friends to sign up.

In 2 hours…

…you can:

  • Attend events – such as Medicine for Members, an informal virtual ‘constituency’ gathering, a Council of Governors’ meeting or the Annual General/Members’ Meeting. All of these events are advertised in the Members’ Briefing
  • Volunteer for us – there are a number of volunteer roles across the trust, playing an important role providing support to people who use our services. You can find out more by emailing  voluntering@somersetft.nhs.uk. You can also volunteer for Love Musgrove, the trust’s official charity – find out more.
  • Take part in a focus group or survey – we often have opportunities for patients and carers to give us their honest feedback on a range of key hospital services through a focus group or surveys. Members can take part in these, to share their experiences and feedback.

In 3 hours…

…you can:

  • Become a Governor – we are looking for committed people with relevant experience who can help fulfil this important role. It is a great opportunity to contribute to the future of the trust. Find out more about the role, or contact the Governor and Membership Support Officer at governors@somersetft.nhs.uk for more information
  • Join us at engagement events – our members can help to promote membership and speak to those interested at engagement events such as the Annual General Meeting

Join our Young People’s Forum

If you’re aged 16-24 years old, and have been a patient or are interested in a career in the NHS, then why not join our Young People’s Forum. Joining the forum will give you a real say in improving services across the trust, helping us to develop areas such as providing age-appropriate activities and entertainment for our younger patients.

You will learn new skills, have the opportunity to build your confidence, improve your communications skills and meet like-minded people. Most importantly, you will be helping to make sure that Somerset NHS Foundation Trust provides its patients with the best care and experience.

If you would like to find out more about joining the forum, please email members@somersetft.nhs.uk with your name, age, and a few sentences explaining what you feel you could contribute to the forum and what you are hoping to get out of joining it.

Members’ Briefing

We will send out quarterly a Members’ Briefing, keeping members up-to-date with the latest news and developments across the Trust.

You can view recent Members’ Briefings below:

Members’ Briefing – October 2021

Members’ Briefing – April 2021

Members’ Briefing – December 2020

Somerset FT Members’ Briefing – June 2020

SomPar Members-Briefing-December-2019

TST Members’ Briefing December 2019