Governors and membership

Home > About us > Governors and membership

Karen Ellison

Lead Governor and Governor for Ilkley and Wharfedale

Karen explains the role of the governors and how they work together with the Board.

Kai Dada

Public Governor, Skipton

Kai explains why he decided to become a governor and what he enjoys about the role.

More information


Becoming a Member

If you have an interest in healthcare in the district, and would like to find out more about the work of your local hospital, becoming a member of the Airedale NHS Foundation Trust could be ideal for you.

Membership is free and is open to everyone aged 14 or above, living in the community that the Trust serves. Members receive updates from Governors and are invited to events taking place at the Trust, providing you with an opportunity to talk to our staff and learn more about the work of the Trust.  Please note, however, that events have been suspended for the time being due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a member, you can vote for others to represent you on the Trust’s Council of Governors, or stand for election yourself.

Why become a member?

Becoming a member of our Foundation Trust means that you will be able to:
· Get a better understanding of how the Trust works and share in our successes
· Become actively involved in the work of the Trust and help shape our future plans
· Be consulted on major plans
· Make sure your views and those of your community are heard.
· Be invited to Trust open days, member events or information sessions
· Receive regular information about the Trust
· Vote for Council Governors
· Stand for election as a Council Governor

Who can become a member?

Anyone can become a member providing they are over 14 years of age and live in one of the following constituencies:- Bingley; Bingley Rural; Craven, South Craven and West Craven; Ilkley & Wharfedale; Keighley Central, East, West or Worth Valley; Pendle & Colne; Settle & Mid Craven; or Skipton If you do not live in any of the above areas, you can still join through our ‘Rest of England’ constituency. All Trust staff are automatically Foundation Trust members unless they choose to opt out.

How to join as a Member

If you would like to be a member of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, you can click below and complete our online application form.

Application form link



Alternatively, please telephone: 01535 294540 or write to us at:  Foundation Trust Membership Office, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, Airedale General Hospital, Skipton Road, Steeton, Keighley, BD20 6TD.

What is the Council of Governors?

Airedale Hospital was authorised as an NHS Foundation Trust, with effect from 1 June 2010. This means we have much more freedom to make sure our future plans best meet the unique needs of our local community

Foundation Trusts are accountable to their members via a body known as the Council of Governors, which works closely with the Trust’s Board of Directors to develop strategy and plans. Governors also create relationships between the Trust and the community we serve by acting as a link between the Trust and members of the public.

The Council of Governors plays an important role in the future of the Trust and is made up of members of the public elected from the electoral constituencies in which they reside. It also includes elected staff members, plus representatives appointed from other organisations such as local councils and voluntary and business partners.


All elected members can stand for election to represent the area they live in.  We have divided the areas into ‘constituencies’ based on the postcode, similar to what happens in a local council election.

Our constituencies are:

Bingley – Bingley

Bingley Rural – Bingley Rural

Craven – Craven

Ilkley and Wharfedale – Ilkley and Wharfedale

Keighley Central and East – Keighley Central and Keighley East

Keighley West and Worth Valley – Keighley West and Worth Valley

Rest of England – All areas other than those in Bingley, Rural Bingley, Craven, Ilkley and Wharfedale, Keighley Central/East, Keighley West and Worth Valley, Settle and Mid Craven, Skipton, South Craven, West Craven, Pendle East and Colne

Settle and Mid Craven – Settle and Ribblebanks, Gargrave and Malhamdale,  Hellifield, Long Preston, Bentham, Ingleton and Clapham and Pen y Ghent

Skipton – Skipton East, Skipton North, Skipton South, Skipton West, Embsay and Eastby, Grassington, Upper Wharfedale and Barden Fell

South Craven – Aire Valley and Lothersdale, Cowling, Glusburn, Carleton, Sutton in Craven

West Craven – Coates and Earby

Pendle East and Colne – Barrowford, Boulsworth, Foulridge, Horsfield, Vivary Bridge and Waterside

The main duties of the Council of Governors are:

  • to hold the Non Executive Directors individually and collectively to account for the performance of the Board of Directors
  • to represent the views of members, public and staff in the governance of the Trust
  • to regularly feedback information about the Trust, its vision and its performance to its members, the public and the stakeholder organisations that either elected or appointed them

We have produced a booklet regarding the role of governor and this is available here: The Role of a Governor at Airedale NHS FT

The Governor Register of Interests can be viewed here: Trust Governors Register of Interests 2022-2023

How to become a governor

If you wish to put yourself forward as a potential Governor you will need to reside in one of the following areas: Bingley; Bingley Rural; Craven, South Craven and West Craven; Ilkley & Wharfedale; Keighley Central, East, West or Worth Valley; Pendle & Colne; Settle & Mid Craven; or Skipton.

However, if you do not live in any of the above areas, you can still be considered through our ‘Rest of England’ constituency. You will also need to be a member of the Trust – see our membership section for further details on the benefits of becoming a member and how to apply.

Elections are normally held annually in May – for further information see the elections section.

The Airedale NHS Foundation Trust welcomes nominations for Governors from persons of any age (16 or over), race, colour, religious belief, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, gender, disability or marital status.

Further information about the role of a governor

NHS Improvement (formally known as Monitor), the independent regulator, has developed a number of documents regarding the role of governors that you may find useful:

For further information about becoming a Governor, please contact:-

E-mail: or Telephone: 01535 294540 or write to us at: Foundation Trust Membership Office Airedale NHS Foundation Trust Airedale General Hospital Skipton Road Steeton Keighley BD20 6TD


2024 Elections

Please note that the Election Results can be found here.

Please click here to view the Notice of Election, though nominations closed on 29 February 2024.

Please click here to view the Statement of Nominated Candidates.

The Notice of Poll can now be found here.

Please also click here for the Uncontested Report.

All the details are in the Election Special newsletter:  Election Special 2024

Details on Becoming a Governor can be found in the Becoming a Governor presentation.

For further information regarding the role of a Governor, please or telephone phone 01535 294540 or to see the video of Lead Governor Karen explaining the role click here.

The Trust currently holds many of the Governor meetings online though the formal meetings – the quarterly Council of Governor meetings and the Annual Members’ Meeting – are held face to face and it is important that Governors attend these in person.  Anyone who is planning to become a Governor must be able to make such a commitment and the Trust will reimburse reasonable travel expenses.

All Governors have to be members of the Trust which is a simple registration process for anyone who is not already a member.  You can apply to be a member via the online form

The Trust serves a diverse population, is committed to inclusivity and encourages nominations from across the community, especially under-represented groups.

The results will be announced on the Trust website on 19 April.

Information for 2023 elections

Our 2023 Governor election information and results are published below:

Previous election information

Our 2022 Governor election information and results are published below:

Council of Governor meeting documents

Members of the public are welcome to attend our quarterly Council of Governors’ meetings to receive an update on how the Trust is performing, hear from Governor’s activities and see presentations from Trust staff.  If you would like to attend a meeting, please register your attendance through our Membership office on 01535 294540.

Our next meeting is 6 June 2024, papers can be found here.

Upcoming meeting dates:

  • September 2024 (Date TBC)
  • Thursday 7 November 2024
  • Thursday 6 February 2025

Previous meetings:

Governor induction (for our governors)

Please find below some useful links and documents to assist you in your role as Governor:

Constitution May 2022

Annual members meeting

2023 Meeting

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust invited people to attend its Annual Members’ Meeting on Thursday 7 September 2023, from 12:30pm. The event was open to everyone. The Agenda from the meeting can be found here.

It was the first face to face Annual Members’ Meeting in three years, and the Trust really enjoyed welcoming attendees back to Airedale General Hospital, Steeton.

It was also the first public meeting since the announcement that Airedale had joined the government’s New Hospital Programme.

The formal business of the meeting started at 1pm, and provided an opportunity to hear about the Trust’s work over the past year and for attendees to put questions to the Trust. After the formal meeting there was the chance to join a short tour to showcase recent developments. The minutes and questions from members can be found here and the presentation from the meeting can be found here.

2022 Meeting

The Trust’s 2022 Annual Members’ Meeting was held on Friday 23rd September at 2pm virtually via MS Teams.  You can watch the video of the meeting here.  Minutes and questions from the annual meeting are here.