Our public and staff membership is an extremely valuable asset. We want our members to have a real involvement with Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT) so they can influence the way our services are provided.


LSCft is committed to providing the highest quality services possible, it is therefore essential that we listen to the views of our service users, staff and key stakeholders.

As of June 2021, the trust has 7,500 Public Members and 6,700 Staff Members.

Our membership has a major role in supporting the achievement of the Trust’s objectives with a focus on continuing to grow an inclusive culture of public engagement.

By giving staff, service users, the public and our partners a stake in the organisation, we can develop the Trust into an open, outward-facing organisation that uses its members as a valuable resource to improve our performance and quality outcomes.

We want to give our members the opportunity to help shape the future of our Trust by learning more about the organisation, providing feedback, responding to surveys and consultations and voting in elections to the Council of Governors.

We will encourage members to be more actively involved, for example by standing for election to the Council of Governors.

Where we are now – insights

  • More support is needed to regularly communicate and engage with members.
  • The Trust needs to develop a narrative which clearly articulates our membership offer
  • Governors would like to develop a series of events and opportunities to engage with their constituents and the means to promote them.
  • Governors would like more support to promote the role of Governors both internally and externally.
  • Turnout at LSCft Governor’s elections is low and the proportion of elections that are contested could be better.
  • The trust has a healthy public membership however only a relatively small proportion of the membership actively engages with the Trust.
  • We have groups that are under-represented within our membership, both demographic and geographic and we need to find ways to better engage with these groups.

Our strategic objectives for membership engagement are:

  • Ensure members are kept informed and given accurate information about our services
  • Create a range of opportunities and activities so that our members have the opportunity to feedback and be involved in shaping our service plans
  • Focus on developing and increasing our membership base and member related activities in order to achieve a representative and engaged membership
  • Ensure members know who their local Governor is, what they do/their role and why and how to contact them
  • Increase support for Governors to engage with their membership

Developing and managing an active membership

Membership benefits

It is widely recognised that membership can bring multiple benefits to organisations. However, more work needs to be carried out to identify and promote the benefits to members of active engagement.

Many trusts hold significant membership bases but only a relatively small proportion of the membership actively participates in membership opportunities. This strategy hopes to address this.

Everyone’s motivation for becoming a member will be different. But the potential incentives for being an active trust member can be categorised into:

  • Access to information
  • Increased knowledge and understanding
  • Influence on services
  • Community and personal development

Therefore key messages, which will be regularly updated and tested with targeted audiences, will centre around:

  1. You’ll be kept up-to-date with improvements and changes to your local NHS services
  2. You get to have your say on local NHS services and can help us make it the best it can be
  3. You can be involved as much or as little as you want to in many different ways
  4. You receive our free e-Magazine where you will find out all the latest news from our Trust
  5. You will be able to vote for Governors in elections that will happen in your constituency
  6. As well as voting, you can stand for election as a Governor when the opportunity arises and represent the voice of the Members in your constituency
  7. You are welcome to attend our quarterly Council of Governors meetings and also our Annual Members Meetings, meet staff and Governors, and hear first-hand about the Trust's ongoing work and plans
  8. You have the opportunity to access a wide range of NHS staff discounts through joining the website 'Health Service Discount’

To recruit members we will use the following methods:

  • Ensuring default staff membership
  • Developing a range of printed and digital materials to explain the benefits of being members
  • Membership forms in LSCft sites
  • Proactively encourage service users and carers to become members
  • Use existing services and networks to promote membership e.g. recovery college
  • Attendance at public events
  • Outreach to community, voluntary groups and local schools
  • Campaigns, social media promotion and targeting
  • Promotion through local media
  • Recruitment at annual meeting
  • Collaboration with other trusts
  • Support from Healthwatch

Whatever the initial motivator for wishing to have an influence, people need to see tangible rewards for their engagement to avoid drop-out.

This requires on-going demonstration that for LSCft members and for the public, having your say is valued and results in change.

As well as being involved with LSCft, we will also offer our members the opportunity to be updated and feedback on wider NHS system transformation being driven by the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrate Care System (ICS).

Once members and the public are confident that voicing their opinions has an influence on how LSCft shapes and delivers its services, a well-engaged population with a real sense of ownership can emerge, with a stake in LSCft’s strength and excellence as an organisation.

Membership Levels

Members can choose one or more of the following levels of membership:

  • Inform - receive information and updates from us about important changes to healthcare
  • Involve - receive information, and be involved, from time to time, in activities, such as focus groups, surveys, consultations and be invited to attend health events
  • Influence - receive information and regularly be involved in activities, such as volunteering to support a service, helping to collect views from other local people on a range of issues, perhaps even considering standing for election as a governor.

Member Activities

Member activities include:

  • Receiving information about what we are doing. The Trust quarterly e-Magazine is written and produced by the communications team. The e-Magazine will be an essential engagement and communication tool for members. For many, this is the only level of involvement they have with the Trust. It is important that the e-Magazine is informative and reflects the Trust’s key developments, future plans and highlights opportunities for involvement
  • Attending member events
  • Members are invited to the Annual Members Meeting to receive an overview of the year, along with the presentation of accounts. This also provides an opportunity for those attending to ask questions and share their views with the Trust Board
  • Involvement at a clinical service group level by participating in focus groups and other feedback activity
  • Involvement in patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE) assessments
  • Involvement in assessment of our compliance with the CQC essential standards
  • Being consulted on any major changes to the delivery of services
  • Attending Trust Board and also Council of Governor meetings
  • Taking part in the election of Governors
  • Standing for election as a Governor.

Strategy Delivery

Ensure members are kept informed and given accurate information about our services

One of the primary motivations for joining LSCft as a member is to be on the mailing list for accurate and trustworthy information about our services.

We must cater for our members by meeting this expectation and guarantee high-quality standards for the information we send out.

As members of our community, using what they have learned from LSCft about health issues, how services are organised and how we are continually working to improve, means members will have reliable information to make the right choices for themselves and give reliable information to their family and friends.

The trust’s main method of communications with members and public are:

  1. Quarterly e-Magazine
  2. Trust website
  3. Social media channels
  4. e-Bulletins
  5. Events

We will encourage our members to receive information as much as possible by email, as this is more cost effective.

Create a range of opportunities and activities so that our members have the opportunity to feedback and be involved in shaping our service plans

Our membership database will enable us to better group our members, so we can tailor what information is sent to them and invite them to feedback on issues they are interested in.

Members will be invited to:

  • receive information from us about our services
  • receive invitations to events or working groups
  • respond to surveys or comment on leaflets
  • receive information about employment opportunities

Where feedback is provided and acted on, we will make sure this is included in ‘You said, we did’ sections on our website and our eMagazine.

Focus on developing and increasing our membership base and member related activities in order to achieve a representative and engaged membership

Our current membership stands at 14,200 (as of June 2021). The proposed aim is to ensure that our public membership is representative of our demographic profile and reflective of the communities we serve.

We use a range of methods to recruit including developing a range of materials which explain the benefits of being members.

Ensure members know who their local governor is, what they do/their role and why and how to contact them

The Communications and Engagement Team will support Governors to raise the profile of their role through:

  • social media
  • e-bulletins
  • print and digital campaigns
  • articles in new quarterly e-Magazine
  • invitations to key events run by the trust or partner organisations.

Increase support for Governors to engage with their membership

Our Governors have an active role in seeking the views of their members and the wider public on materials issues or changes being discussed by the Trust. The Trust has two responsibilities towards it Governors which are to:

  • Ensure Governors are well informed so they feel confident about their role.
  • Increase opportunities for Governors to engage with their membership.

​​​​​​​Ensuring Governors are well informed

For Governors to perform the engagement aspects of their role, we will make sure governors receive information around material issues within the trust, issues of strategic importance locally, regionally and nationally in a timely manner and access to training and development through:

  • Formal Council meetings
  • Governor and NED engage sessions
  • Governor briefings
  • Representation at Trust committee meetings
  • Board papers

We will also use our quarterly Trust e-Magazine, social media and other campaigns to increase the profile of governors and their engagement activities.

Through the Membership Committee, Governors will receive updates on membership recruitment to monitor how the trust’s membership reflects communities and reports on public, patient and member engagement. This will help the committee keep abreast of member, staff and public feedback, so they can effectively scrutinise how it’s influencing the trust’s vision, strategies and service delivery.

Increase opportunities for Governors to engage with their membership​​​​​​​

Governors will have the opportunity to engage with members and the wider public by:​​​​​​​

  • Attending community events in their constituencies
  • Taking part in Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) visits
  • Attending LSCft patient experience sub committee
  • Attending trust and stakeholder events and annual members’ meeting.


We will measure and track the success against our objectives through:

  • Membership numbers and diversity
  • Feedback and responses to surveys and consultations from members
  • You said, we did examples
  • Number of enquiries to governors from members of the public
  • 100 per cent of governors say they have the information they need to fulfil their role
  • Member attendance at annual general meeting
  • Number of events where governors or LSCft have a presence
  • Number of LSCft sites displaying poster of governors.

A detailed action plan for year one (2021/22) can be seen in appendix one. Progress against the action plan will be reported at Council of Governors Meetings.