The Trust would like to become an NHS foundation trust and has begun its application process. Here’s why we think that’s important and where we currently are on our journey to FT status.

Becoming an NHS foundation trust

What is an NHS foundation trust?

Foundation trusts remain part of the NHS and continue to care for patients according to NHS principles and standards. But they have more freedom from central Government control and are instead more accountable to local people, who can become members and governors. This can help them respond better to the needs and priorities of local communities. NHS foundation trusts are authorised and overseen by the independent regulator, Monitor. They are also accountable to Parliament.

Where are we in the application process?

To progress our application to become an NHS foundation Trust, we need a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Following an inspection in September 2014, we were given an overall rating by the CQC of ‘requires improvement’, with some areas rated ‘good’. We are implementing an action plan, which built on our existing improvement programmes, in response to this rating. We can continue our application once we are re-inspected and receive a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rating.

We consulted on our plans to become an NHS foundation trust in 2013-2014. We had good support for our application from patients, staff and partners, summarised in the consultation outcome report.

How are we preparing to become an NHS foundation trust?

We are actively encouraging patients and local residents to become members. While members cannot currently become governors or take part in elections, we do offer a range of ways for them to get involved in informing and shaping our work. We are also continuing to work on improving quality, governance and financial sustainability – all of which need to be in order if we are to become a foundation trust.

Find out more about becoming a member.