What are Foundation Trusts (FT)?

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NHS foundation trusts are part of the NHS, and offer free care, based on patients’ needs and not their ability to pay, in line with the core principles of the NHS.

The difference between an NHS foundation trust and a standard NHS trust is that foundation trusts have more independence from the government.

  • More financial freedom than standard NHS trusts, and can use this to improve services for patients.
  • More freedom to provide services which meet the needs of local people.
  • Directly accountable to their communities through their members and governors.
  • Greater scope to decide their own strategy and the way they run their services in discussion with the board and their members and governors.
  • Have to meet national standards for cleanliness and quality of care.
  • Are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and overseen by a national body called Monitor.

NHS foundation trusts have been set up as not-for-profit, public benefit corporations. These are bodies that are set up to perform a benefit for the public. Any surpluses that are made will be reinvested to improve services and patient care.

As an FT we will:

  • Strengthen our links with local people.
  • Be more open and accountable to the people we work with.
  • Set our own priorities for improving care that will reflect the real need of our local community.
  • Build on the work we have already done to make our services more sensitive to patients’ needs and wants.

As a foundation trust we will have a strong, independent place at the heart of our community and through our members and governors, we will be truly accountable to the people we serve. We will be able to invest surplus money (i.e. money left after paying our bills each year) in new or improved services, which provide better patient care.

What can you do?

You can help us achieve FT by becoming a member. Find out more about being a member or apply now with our online form.

Staff members automatically become members of our staff constituency (and do not need to complete a registration form) if:

  • Employed by the Trust under a permanent contract or a contract with a fixed term of 12 months or longer.
  • Are not directly employed by the Trust but provide services for the Trust and have been doing so far at least 12 months, excluding volunteers.

As a member, it’s up to you to decide how involved you want to be. You can choose to only receive information about the FT, complete online surveys, attend meetings, take part on focus groups and consultations about subjects that interest you.

For more information please email us at SC-TR.SCTMembership@nhs.net, or contact us by phone on 01273 242127.