Voluntary board members needed

Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital chief executive officer, Dr Beryldene Swartz and her personal assistant, Shahieda Benjamin.

Volunteers are being sought to serve on Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital’s health facility board.

The board represent patients, support staff and the community and holds the hospital’s management publicly accountable.

Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo appoints between eight to 14 members on a board, including representatives from the community, at least one of whom should have technical expertise in business or law, finance, accounting, or some other relevant area.

She was due to appoint board members in September last year, but no one stepped forward. She has now opened applications again.

Hospital chief executive officer, Dr Beryldene Swartz, said members would be able to ask hospital staff, who also sit on the board, anything that would benefit patient care and community relations.

“There have been requests for reports on deaths, infrastructure needs and they hold us to account,” she said.

The hospital serves mostly Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha residents.

Board members would have to attend regular meetings, help with fund-raising and projects and be active in the community.

Members who fail to attend two to three meetings without tending an apology automatically lose their place on the board.

“The work is actually done between the meetings, members have to read minutes and collect information, visit the hospital and attend walkabouts to familiarise themselves with the routine and services offered to the community and its patients,” Dr Swartz said.

Board members are appointed for three years and may only serve three consecutive terms.

“In the past, members have supported sport and recreational outings of patients, released funds for specific projects and proposed projects, which would benefit the patients,” Dr Swartz said.

She also called for volunteers to help with gardening at the hospital.

Board applicants can submit their CVs and letters of recommendation to the office of Lentegeur Hospital’s health facility board.

For more information contact Shahieda Benjamin at 021 370 1411, between 8am and 4pm, or Shahieda.Benjamin@westerncape.gov.za