Local people, patients and staff will now have greater opportunities for influence and involvement at Salisbury District Hospital following the independent regulator’s decision to grant the Trust NHS Foundation status.
This follows 18 month’s work to put together detailed service, workforce and governance plans, a 12 week public consultation last summer and a rigorous two-stage final assessment.
It also follows a membership gathering exercise, which started in the summer 2005, and independently run elections for Governors that took place this March. This was done prior to authorisation so that the Council of Governors, which provides that all-important link between the hospital and the community, would be in place from the day of NHS Foundation Trust status.
NHS Foundation Trusts are legally independent organisations known as Public Benefit Corporations. They provide NHS services to NHS patients with accountability shifting from national level to local people through new governance arrangements.
Luke March, Chairman of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, said: " We are delighted by the announcement that we have achieved NHS Foundation Trust status and honoured that the Minister of State will be here on the day of authorisation to share in this success. It is fitting that the Minister will be able to meet with staff and patients in our new facility as it represents the move to first class modern facilities and a positive view to the future."
Although the Trust is still firmly part of the NHS and will continue to provide services to high standards set by the Department of Health, NHS Foundation Trust status represents a fundamental change in the way in which local people are involved in the development of services.
NHS Foundation Trust status gives local people, patients and staff the opportunity to have a real influence on the way the hospital and services develop over the coming years.
As members they can get actively involved in the planning and monitoring of services and tell us about the needs and expectations of their local community. With such a strong local focus the Trust will have more opportunity to develop services that meet local priorities and make changes more quickly.
Dr Frank Harsent, Chief Executive of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust said: "We already have Governors elected by members from their own constituencies or areas and they will liase with them to ensure that ideas, views and feedback is used effectively as part of a two way process between the hospital and the community."
The Trust is also now directly accountable to the local community. The Council of Governors will be consulted by the Board of Directors on forward plans and any significant changes to the healthcare that is provided. The Governors will also appoint the Chairman and Non Executives of the Trust Board and future Chief Executives.
Dr Harsent added: " Over the years the hospital has traditionally benefited from strong support and interest from its staff and the local community. This is reflected in the way in which local people have responded to our move to NHS Foundation Trust status with over 9,350 people taking up membership."
"Our members will have an invaluable role to play in shaping the development of local hospital services and ensuring that the future success of the hospital continues for the benefit of local people," Dr Harsent said. Ends
Notes to editors:
The media are invited to a Photo Opportunity at Salisbury District Hospital on Thursday, June 1. They must contact Patrick Butler (details below) for details and to confirm attendance beforehand.
Please note embargo of 00.01 hours, Thursday, 1 June 2006.
If local people want more information about NHS Foundation Trust status or what membership can offer please contact the Foundation Trust Membership Manager, Membership Office, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury SP2 8BR.Telephone 01722 336262. Extension 4390. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by logging on to the Trust website at www.salisbury.nhs.uk
For further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury District Hospital. Tel: 01722 425170