Health chiefs at East Surrey Hospital have been given the green light to go out to public consultation on their plans to become a foundation trust. Now they are inviting people to come along to a series of meetings and play a part in the trust’s future development. Becoming a NHS foundation trust is an essential goal for Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, and one it aims to achieve by April 2015.
Chief Executive Michael Wilson said: “Achieving FT status these days is about achieving a mark of quality – it’s a badge that says we deliver the best services. It also means the people we serve can have a greater say in our plans by becoming members and electing a Council of Governors.
“This consultation is about finding out what people think of our plans to become an FT – what our membership could look like and how they can influence decisions. I would encourage everyone to come along to the public meetings we are holding and play an essential role in shaping our proposals.”
Alan McCarthy, Trust Chairman, added: “Becoming an FT will increase the trust’s accountability to patients, staff and the public. We will carefully consider all feedback we receive during the consultation so that we can become an FT and continue to deliver safe, high quality care.”
Foundation trusts are different from existing NHS Trusts as they have more financial flexibility, are free from central government control and have different governance arrangements.
The additional freedom enables FTs to make decisions about their own future – decisions they reach with the involvement of the communities and the patients they serve.
The public consultation runs for 12 weeks and will end on February 28 next year following a series of meetings across the region.
The Trust’s proposals can be found on their website at www.sash.nhs.uk/ft