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What is a Foundation Trust?

 

NHS foundation trusts were created to devolve decision making from central government to local organisations and communities enabling them be responsive to needs and wishes of local people.

A foundation trust is publicly owned and is accountable to the local population, patients, carers and staff through a Council of Governors.  The Council of Governors are appointed from stakeholder organisations such as Local Councils or elected by the members of the Trust.

Foundation trusts provide and develop healthcare according to core NHS principles - free care, based on need and not ability to pay.

Mid Cheshire Hospitals became a Foundation Trust on 1 April 2008.

Foundation Trusts:

  • are part of the NHS, and provide over half of all NHS hospitals, mental health and ambulance services
  • have thousands of Members - patients, carers, staff, local organisations and people in the local community
  • have volunteer Governors, many of whom are elected by Members
  • are at the heart of a patient-led NHS.  Trust managers and staff work with local organisations, communities and Members to plan and deliver services designed for local needs, rather than provide what central Government thinks is best
  • are subject to all NHS standards, performance ratings and systems of inspection

 

The benefits of being a Foundation Trust include:

  • Local involvement – Members and Governors have a greater say in how Trust services are managed and improved, and ensure that everyone has access to services.
  • Local employment - Foundation Trust status helps attract, train and keep high quality staff in Cheshire
  • Local partnerships – The Trust’s Council of Governors includes hospital staff and representatives from other key organisations in the local area including GPs, Commissioners, District Councils, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Chamber of Commerce. Local financial controls – any money not spent by the end of the financial year can be carried forward and extra money invested into local services and future service developments, rather than being returned to Central Government

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