FAQs

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Why should I become a member?

There are many benefits of being a member of Lincolnshire Partnership (NHS) Foundation Trust. One of these is having the ability to keep updated in and provide feedback on local health services. By working alongside the Trust and its Governors, members are able to feed into the improvement of services across the community and have their voices heard. Being a member will also allow you to participate directly in voluntary work, focus groups, surveys and feedback opportunities. 

What does being a member involve and will it take up much of my time?

Your level of involvement as a member is entirely up to you:

  • You may just want to receive information from time to time or vote every three years for someone to represent you on the Council of Governors.
  • You may wish to be notified of events or meetings being held by the trust, which may be of interest to you.
  • You may wish to be an active member and have your details logged with our Involvement team who will contact you further regarding additional opportunities.
  • You may wish to consider standing as a Governor yourself to represent your relevant constituency.

Who can become a member?

Anyone over the age of 12 who based in Lincolnshire or its surrounding areas can be a member of LPFT.

Restrictions to membership are outlined under section 11 of the Trust Constitution

To become a member you'll need to complete a membership application form

How much does membership cost?

Membership is completely free and there are no subscriptions or hidden charges.

I have no experience of mental health problems, am I still okay to become a member?

Although you may have no experience of these services, statistically, you are just as likely to know someone who has received treatment from mental health services.

The term ‘mental illness’ has many stereotypes, but covers everything from mild depression, to dementia in the elderly to drug and alcohol addiction.

We actively encourage all individuals to talk openly about mental health and support society in breaking any stigma and discrimination surrounding this.

Does the Trust solely focus on services for mental health?

No. The Trust provides a range of specialist services from support for people with learning disabilities and their families, to rehabilitation, to psychological therapies.

The list of our services is very comprehensive. 

Will my details be given to others?

No, the information you provide is solely for use by us and will remain confidential.

All membership data is managed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Act (2018) and will not be given to third parties or used for marketing purposes.

Your details will be held on a public register unless you inform us that you wish otherwise.

I am already a member of another foundation trust, can I be a member of Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) too?

Yes. You can be a member of our trust so long as you live in, or the surrounding areas of, Lincolnshire.

Can we as a couple/family/household have joint membership?

Unfortunately not. It is easy to apply to become a member of LPFT and each have the ability to receive information and also vote in the Governor elections as individuals.

Who are the Council of Governors?

The Council of Governors is a collective term for all elected and appointed LPFT Governors as a whole. The Council of Governors are formed of four different constituencies:

  • Public constituency 8 roles elected to represent different catchment areas across Lincolnshire:
    • Boston
    • Lincoln
    • East Lindsey
    • North Kesteven
    • South Holland
    • South Kesteven
    • West Lindsey
    • Rest of England.
  • Service User/Carer constituency 11 roles elected to represent service users and carers across Lincolnshire. Service Users are those who have used LPFT's services in the last 5 years. 
  • Staff constituency 9 roles elected to represent the five staff divisions across LPFT:
    • Adult Inpatient services
    • Adult Community services
    • Corporate services
    • Specialist services
    • Older Adult services.
  • Stakeholder constituency 7 roles appointed by the relevant stakeholder within Lincolnshire:
    • Clinical Commissioning Groups
    • Healthwatch
    • Lincolnshire County Council (2 roles)
    • LPFT Volunteers
    • SHINE Network
    • University of Lincoln.

More comprehensive information on our Council of Governors and those currently in post 

How will I know who represents me?

A list of all current Governors  

It is possible to be represented by more than one Governor, dependent on your circumstances. 

How do I contact my representative Governor?

You can contact a Governor (or Governors) through our website 

What powers do the Council of Governors have?

The powers of the Council of Governors are outlined in the Trust Constitution and are legally binding. 

Do governors have to represent their whole constituency?

If a Governor has been elected by a constituency they must fairly represent and put forward the views of this given constituency, even if points raised differ from their own personal views.

How much are governors paid?

Governors are not paid to undertake their role, as these are taken on a voluntary basis. Governors are eligible to claim expenses that they incur as part of transport costs.

How long are governors in post?

Once appointed a Governor will serve on the Council of Governors for three years. Each Governor can stand for re-election for two further terms up to a maximum of nine years. The elections of Public, Service User/Carer and Staff Governors are phased on an annual basis. This ensures that representation is continuous.

Who is the Council of Governors accountable to?

The Council of Governors are accountable to the local community and LPFT’s members. The Council of Governors also have the power to remove individual Governors from post via vote, if it is deemed that they have failed to adhere to the responsibilities or criteria of their role.

More details of the disqualification or removal of Governors can be found under section 18 of the Trust Constitution 

Will staff governors be given their time back for attending meetings out of work hours?

Yes. There is also a Facilities Agreement in place to support Governors in balancing their staff and Governor responsibilities.

Isn’t foundation trust status just a step towards privatisation?

  • No. Our services remain firmly in the NHS.
  • We are committed to the NHS and would not support any plan to privatise its services.

What financial freedom does an NHS foundation trust have?

  • The financial freedoms given to NHS foundation trusts apply to decisions on managing the existing assets of the organisation.
  • This allows access to a wide range of funding to improve and expand services, and support innovation.
  • A foundation trust can make a surplus, or borrow to invest in new services.

Can an NHS foundation trust keep any surplus it makes?

  • Yes. An NHS foundation trust can put the extra money back into local services and invest in future service development.
  • Investment must also comply with the NHS foundation trust financial regime.

What happens if foundation trust status doesn’t work out?

  • The role of NHS Improvement, our regulator, is to work alongside the trusts to ensure foundation trust status does work.
  • Where NHS Improvement has serious concerns that an individual NHS foundation trust is in breach of its terms of authorisation, it has statutory powers to intervene and take action to prevent problems occurring in the future.
  • In the unlikely circumstances that the NHS foundation trust does not succeed, NHS Improvement would work with us to make sure that a new organisation is established to continue to provide health services.
  • As is the case with NHS trusts, if something goes wrong it will primarily be the responsibility of the organisation itself to take appropriate remedial action.
  • Future problems will be prevented by learning lessons and sharing this information with others.
  • We have a strong financial position. All statutory duties have been achieved in every year of our existence. Over this period our income has steadily increased and services have been expanded to deliver key national mental health targets.

How we are performing in delivering high quality services. 

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