People in Crawley are being asked to help shape the future of health services by becoming members of the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH).
The Trust, which runs East Surrey Hospital in Redhill and some services from Crawley Hospital, has been selected by the Government to bid to become a Foundation Trust.
As part of the consultation period, current chief executive of SASH Michael Wilson hosted a meeting at Crawley Civic Hall on Friday (January 10) to tell residents how they can get involved.
He said: “There’s not going to be a new hospital in England for a very long time. We have to make the very best of it. We can only do it with your help and if you become members who elect governors and help us work through the process.
“If we want to influence things we have to be part of it. If I don’t vote for whatever parties in power, I have to accept what I’ve got. It’s not too dissimilar.”
The Trust needs to recruit more than 9,000 members who have a say on how the trust is run.
Unless they choose otherwise, the Trust’s 3,500 staff will be automatically enrolled as members and the remaining 5,500 will be members of the public.
The members will elect the council of 28 governors made up of nine appointed governors from each of the local authorities and clinical commissioning groups and other health bodies, four staff governors and 11 public governors, including two from Crawley.
The only requirement is that they are aged over 14 years.
SASH will know in September whether it can make a formal application for Foundation Status to Monitor, the regulator for health services in England. Monitor will make its decision by April 2015.
For details, visit www.surreyandsussexnhs.uk/ft or call 01737 768511 ext 1864.