NINE new governors have been elected to Airedale General Hospital.

They will have an important role to play in helping the hospital to think about how it might make its services better for local people and will act as a link between the hospital’s board of directors and members of their local community.

Among the new governors is Karen Ellison, who has been elected to represent Ilkley and Wharfedale. She qualified as a doctor from Leeds University in 1987 and practised Obstetrics and Gynaecology for 25 years in Leeds, but also Bradford, Halifax and Otley.

Karen is now a medicolegal consultant assisting doctors/NHS with complaints, inquests, disciplinary hearings, GMC investigations, negligence claims and public enquiries. Karen has a passionate belief in the ethos of the NHS free at the point of need and wants to see the NHS thrive for her community.

Karen believes she can assist locally in bringing the concerns of the members to the governing body. She has the skills and experience to raise concerns regarding patient safety, arguably the most important goal of the Trust, to the Governing body and to hold the Non-Executive Directors to account for the performance of the Board.

Nick Cole has been elected to represent Craven, and has served as both a Keighley primary school governor and Addingham Parish councillor in recent years and is keen to bring his personal sense of public service to a new environment in health and social care.

Nick has experience in previous relevant roles of holding public decision making and future plans to account. He has spent the last 10 years recruiting to Executive and Non-Executive leadership roles in the public sector.

Andrew Gold, chairman of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Airedale are delighted to welcome the new Governors to their role and look forward to their input in support of the Trust’s future development.

“There are a broad range of skills and life experience within the Council of Governors that our aim is to be reflective of the diverse community the Trust serves. That is essential given the Governors provide an important link to the population that the Trust serves.”