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Meet a Berkshire Healthcare Governor

Baldev Sian

We spoke to Baldev Sian, public governor for Wokingham to find out why he become involved with Berkshire Healthcare, and what his role as governor entails.

It is almost a year to the date that I was elected Independent Wokingham Governor to the Trusts.  Being a long term community leader in Reading centred catchment and having served in many other public organisations and voluntary sector in similar roles, I felt perhaps I may be able to contribute something to the great NHS and its delivery at point of need.

It happens to coincide with the Sikh Vaisakhi festival time as well as Easter and this year with Kareem Ramadan (once in 33 years) where faith and cultural (India coincides usually with bumper crop fruition – apparently the unusual wet weather has destroyed many this year, another topic dear to me) aspects come together.

Indeed many Sikh Gurdwaras will hold Processions, change the Saffron coverings of the flag symbol outside the building (In India it flies high as a service point for those in need, whatever it may be.

NHS has developed into a very complex organisation (compared to the days when I served in the medical branch of Royal Navy (First Sikh in RN 1970) and then in Supply Chain for 5 years at Leeds AHA).  It used to operate quite simply in those days and as a patient always knew where to go for help support.

These days and since the Covid period, I was getting some distressed feedback from community members on the significant changes being implemented, particularly difficulty in getting to see their GPs. 

There is a lot to take-in as a Governor, plenty of meetings and many places to visit and see at first hand the great work the dedicated staff do every day.  Indeed, my experience, even though short, convinces me the best way to help them is to think long term solutions rather than fighting fires.

Whilst Governors don’t have any powers, the staff I have met seem to think we have influence and often air their issues assuming we will inform their management accordingly.

What we may also be able to do is to influence the various measures of performance towards the step changes needed in the changes in a joined up clinical delivery rather than so many other stats, whilst required, may direct resources away from such delivery.

Finally, my experiences based on short time as a governor and that impacted partly by Covid and I do hope that more concerned communities can support these initiatives of NHS governance and get involved.

I am honoured to be a part of such trust and do take my responsibility seriously.

Find out more

View profiles of our governors 

See our latest governor meetings papers and videos 

Visit the NHS Providers website (opens new browser tab)

Visit the Gov.uk website for more information about the role  (opens new browser tab)

Visit the NHS Providers website to read the pre-introduction text (pdf)