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Answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding Foundation Trusts. Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust was authorised as a Foundation Trust on 1 April 2016.
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B) What makes NHS foundation trusts different from standard NHS trusts?

What makes NHS foundation trusts different from standard NHS trusts?

NHS foundation trusts have greater freedom to decide, with their governors and members, their own strategy and the way services are run.

If NHS foundation trusts make a surplus they can invest this to improve services.  At present, if the trust makes more money than it spends, the surplus can be taken back by the NHS. NHS foundation trusts also have more freedom to borrow for capital projects, for example, to invest in new, innovative services. 

They are accountable to:

  • Their local communities through their members and governors;
  • Their commissioners through contracts;
  • Parliament (each NHS foundation trust must lay its annual report and accounts before Parliament);
  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC) through the legal requirement to register and meet the associated standards for the quality of care provided;
  • Monitor. Their role as regulator is to ensure that NHS foundation trusts are well-led, that their leaders are focused on the quality of care patients receive and that they are financially strong.

NHS foundation trusts have to deliver on national targets and standards like the rest of the NHS, but they are free to decide how they achieve this.