What is a foundation trust?

A foundation trust is an NHS organisation that has freedom from central government control and is able to make its own decisions about the way it provides, develops and invests in services and staff. These decisions are better informed by positive engagement with local communities, staff, and partnership organisations.


Will the way in which we provide healthcare change?

No, as an NHS foundation trust we will continue to provide healthcare according to the NHS principles of free care, based on a patient’s needs and not their ability to pay.

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How will we be run?

The Board of Directors will still be responsible for the day-to-day running of our Service.

However, local accountability will be the key to our foundation trust status. We will have elected and nominated governors who will form our Council of Governors. They will represent public and staff members, and local partner organisations. The governors will ensure we proactively engage and work with our patients, staff and local partners.
Find out more about the role of our governors.

We will continue to have a duty to run our service efficiently and economically. We will be regulated by Monitor, the independent regulator for foundation trusts, and by the Care Quality Commission, to ensure that we are well-led, financially strong, legally constituted and that we provide high-quality and safe services.

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What do we have to do to ensure we can become a foundation trust?

There is an application process for becoming a foundation trust that is defined by Monitor on behalf of Parliament. We are expected to:

  • consistently achieve strong performance against targets,
  • set our business strategy for the next five years which describes how the Trust will develop and deliver its services to its patients and the public, and 
  • meet national standards, as set by the Care Quality Commission and other organisations.

The application will be assessed by NHS England (Strategy Health Authority) and Monitor the independent regulator for foundation trusts.

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