What is a Foundation Trust
Foundation Trusts are still NHS organisations with the same principles and standards such as not charging people for their care.
The difference is that Foundation Trusts are run locally and work with the community to develop services to suit the needs of local people.
Foundation Trusts have members from their local communities who elect representatives to a Council of Governors. The Council of Governors work with the Trust's Board of Directors to agree the future plans of the organisation. The Council of Governors also approves the appointment of the Trust's Chair and Non-Executive Directors. In this way, Foundation Trusts will run as independent public benefit corporations similar to mutual organisations like the Co-op. Foundation Trusts have greater financial freedom and are able to retain any surplus money to re invest in services.
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What Are the Benefits of Becoming A Foundation Trust?
Becoming a Foundation Trust will provide a number of benefits for the organisation, staff, service users, carers and the community. It will:
- Reduce the burden and bureaucracy of central monitoring while still ensuring high service standards are maintained
- Offer the opportunity for greater financial flexibility
- Give the freedom to develop enhanced mental health services
- Offer access to additional funding sources
- Generate greater organisational freedom to meet local priorities
- Allow the Trust to respond to what local people want and need from their local health services
- Enable greater involvement of the local community and staff in the development of services
Running the Trust
Foundation Trust status changes how the organisation is governed. It enables people to play a part in the running of the Trust and the development of services.
- Members are recruited from the local community and staff. They receive information about the Trust, give their views on the Trust and they elect Governors
- Some of the Governors are nominated by key local partner organisations. They agree how the Trust and services should develop
- Executive and Non-Executive Directors are appointed for their expertise. They run the Trust's services and develop future plans. They are responsible for meeting national standards, performance targets and financial requirements. They report to the Governors and members about how the trust is performing, which makes them accountable to the local community.
The Trust has 22 Governors made up of elected members of the public and staff, and people that have been nominated by partner organisations. Governors make sure that the views of the community are considered when the Board of Directors develop plans. They also ensure that the Board carry out what they have agreed to and uphold the Trust's values.
Governors relay to the Board ideas and views from the members on how to provide services that the local community needs. They act as a link between members and the Board of Directors. They let members know about any changes that are going to take place and report back to the Board of Directors about what people think.
Governors responsibilities include:
- Appointing the Chair
- Appointing the Non-Executive Directors
- Approving the appointment of the Chief Executive
- Removing the Chair and Non-Executive Directors
- Agreeing payment to Non-Executive Directors
- Appointing and removing auditors
- Receiving the annual report and accounts
- Being consulted on proposed changes and provide guidance on the future direction of the NHS Foundation Trust