Our public consultation

Our public consultation on our plans to become a foundation trust ran from 9 February to 15 May 2009.

We spoke with over 1800 members of the public during the consultation period, encouraged all of our staff to give us feedback and shared our plans with over 2000 partner organisations.

We received 350 formal responses to the proposals set out in our consultation document, and the feedback was broadly positive.

This section looks at:

Our response to the main points raised

The main points raised during the consultation related to the following:

Membership for people who work but don’t live in London

During our consultation we asked whether people who work in London, but live outside the capital, should be eligible for membership.

Sixty-three per cent of the public and our staff agreed that they should.

We have decided to have a membership of people from outside greater London, as a means of involving those people who work in the capital and may need to use our services.

This public constituency will cover the three strategic health authorities that border London – East of England, South East coast and South Central – and has a population of 13.5 million.

The health authorities cover the following counties: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, West Sussex.

We will call this constituency ’Outside London’.

Members of this constituency will be represented by one governor on our Council of Governors.

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Make-up of public constituencies

Many of our key stakeholders questioned our proposed make-up of the public constituencies within London. They felt the groupings didn’t make sense, whether it was due to size, geography or alliance of boroughs within proposed constituency groupings.

We have decided that, in London, we will have six public constituencies (instead of the proposed 11) which will be closely aligned with the six health sectors under which our commissioners – the primary care trusts that buy local health services – operate. We feel this will enhance our partnership arrangements and it fits well with the health model for London.

In addition, we will have a public constituency covering the strategic health authority areas bordering London which will enable people who work in the capital but don’t live there to have a say in our service.

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Number of public governors

As a result of the changes to the public constituencies, we have increased the number of public governors from 11 to 13 (two per public constituency in London and one for our Outside London constituency).

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Staff groups

Fifty-eight per cent of staff who responded during the consultation indicated they would prefer two groups within our staff constituency – one for support staff and one for frontline staff.

We have decided to have one staff group for our support staff (for example staff who work in our finance, HR, fleet, resource centre and technology departments), and one for our frontline staff (staff who are directly involved in treating patients or who take 999 calls). Since our frontline staff make up the majority of our staff (82 per cent), this group will have two seats on the Council of Governors, and our support staff will be represented by one governor.

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Make-up of the Council of Governors

A range of feedback was received on the proposed make-up of our Council of Governors.

We recognise the benefits of having a representative Council of Governors, and considered the responses with this in mind. We are also aware from other foundation trusts that a Council of Governors is more effective if the size of the Council is kept at a manageable level.

Our new arrangements for our public constituencies have led us to change the number and allocation of public governors. We have decided to keep to our original proposals for staff governors and our partner organisations. However, we are continuing discussions with the trade unions about their role in future foundation trust arrangements. This includes their request for guaranteed seats on the Council of Governors.

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Our full response to the consultation findings

Full details of the consultation findings can be found in our evaluation document.

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Our consultation documents

Our proposals were set out in our consultation documents:

If you would like a paper copy of either document - or for one of them to be provided in another language or in a format such as easy read, Braille or audio - please contact Freephone 0800 7311 388

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