NHS Foundation Trust Status
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The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust was successful in becoming an NHS Foundation Trust from 1st June 2006.
NHS Foundation Trusts are part of the Government’s wider programme of reform for the NHS. Over the next few years all NHS Trusts will be expected to make the change to NHS Foundation Trust status.
This status is not about changing our purpose but it is about changing the way in which we run. NHS Foundation Trusts remain part of the NHS, continuing to provide health services that people need and expect.
Becoming an NHS Foundation Trust meant that we set up local governance arrangements, rather than receiving central direction from the Government. These arrangements make the Trust accountable to local communities and staff, allowing them much greater influence over the way the services provided by the Trust are delivered and developed and to have more say in how our hospitals are run.
You can become involved by joining us as a Member. You can fill in a form online here - it takes just a few seconds!
Benefits of Foundation Trust statusShow [+]Hide [-]
We are sure that our NHS Foundation Trust status will help us deliver the very best health care to those who use our services. We are already making steady improvements for patients, but are mindful of the need to enhance and maintain momentum. As an NHS Foundation Trust we are still part of the NHS, but now have more freedom to run our own affairs at a local level. For example, although we must comply with national standards, we can decide how we do that, by developing new ways of working and to reflect local needs and priorities.
NHS Foundation Trusts are controlled locally so they are able to respond more readily to the needs of patients and the local community. We have more flexibility in how resources are used and greater opportunities to obtain capital to invest in facilities and equipment which will really make a difference to the experience of patients and the working environment for staff.
NHS Foundation Trust status gives:
- more say for patients, public and staff
- greater opportunities for staff
- more freedom over our finances
- more flexibility to meet local needs with partners
Foundation Trust regulationShow [+]Hide [-]
The governance arrangements of NHS Foundation Trusts make sure that they are fully accountable to staff and the communities they serve, whilst ensuring compliance with national standards in relation to quality of care and patient safety, and continue to have inspections by the Healthcare Commission.
As a Foundation Trust, we continue to have the same relationship with Local Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committees and we shall continue to consult with them over plans for substantial developments or variations to services.
Monitor - the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts - monitors NHS Foundation Trusts and defines the framework within which they operate. This includes:
- the arrangements for Governance
- the NHS services which must be provided (referred to as “protected" services) and the circumstances in which those services can be changed
- safeguards on disposal of any property or assets needed to provide NHS services
- financial probity.
NHS Foundation Trusts continue to provide services to NHS patients, based on clinical need and free at the point of delivery.
Private non NHS fee paying patient activity will be monitored, and can only be increased in line with the proportionate turnover value of the overall Trust caseload.
Further information about Monitor can be found on their website: Monitor
How the NHS Foundation Trust is runShow [+]Hide [-]
Becoming an NHS Foundation Trust means that we have set up local arrangements rather than receiving central direction from the Government. We set out how The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is run within our Governance Arrangements (see attached documents at page foot) and Constitution. We have a:
- Council of Governors
- Board of Directors
Membership There are two types of member, (i) Public Members and (ii) Staff Members. Members are able to stand for election and elect representatives to the Council of Governors. They receive information about developments and services within the Trust and are able to contribute their ideas and suggestions.
(i) Public Members
We have 3 public membership constituencies:
- Northumberland, Tyne and Wear (excluding Newcastle), including all those living in the following local authority areas: Alnwick, Berwick upon Tweed, Blyth Valley, Castle Morpeth, Tynedale, Wansbeck, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland
- Newcastle upon Tyne, i.e. all those living in the local authority area of Newcastle
- County Durham & Tees Valley and Cumbria & Lancashire and beyond. This includes all those living in any other local authority area in the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland.
(ii) Staff membership is split into 6 classes:
- Medical and Dental staff
- Nursing and Midwifery staff (as the largest staff group, has two Staff Governors)
- Health Professions Council staff
- Administrative & Clerical, Management and Hospital Chaplains
- Ancillary and Estates staff
- Volunteers (League of Friends, the Chaplaincy Volunteers, the WRVS (on site), the Community Advisory Panel or the Fleming Children’s Trust (formerly known as Friends of the Fleming))
Council of Governors
The Council of Governors includes people elected from the Membership as well as people from Primary Care Trusts, the Local Authority, Universities and other partner stakeholder organisations. The Council of Governors advises the Board of Directors on forward plans for the Trust, holds meetings which are open to all members of the public and approves the Annual Report and Accounts of the NHS Foundation Trust. It is also involved in the appointment process of the Board of Directors.
Our Council of Governors includes:
- 22 Public Governors elected from the Public membership, with 9 from Newcastle upon Tyne, 10 from Northumberland, Tyne and Wear (excluding Newcastle) and 3 from County Durham & Tees Valley and Cumbria & Lancashire and beyond
- 7 Staff Governors elected from the Staff membership, this includes one Governor from each staff class, with the exception of Nursing and Midwifery for which there will be 2
- 11 Nominated Governors
- 3 nominated by Primary Care Trusts
- 1 nominated by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne
- 1 nominated by Newcastle City Council
- 1 nominated by Northumbria University
- 1 nominated by the Community Advisory Panel
- 1 nominated by the Pentagon Partnership
- 1 nominated by the North East Chamber of Commerce
- 1 nominated by the North East Assembly
Further details can be found in the report on Governance Arrangements and the Constitution as attached below.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors comprises a Chair, Non-Executive and Executive Directors who have a similar role to that of the Board of a company. They set the vision, values and plans for the future and run the Trust’s services on a day to day basis.
The Relationship between the Board of Directors, Council of Governors and Members
The relationship between the Board of Directors, Council of Governors and Members is illustrated in an attached image at the page foot.
The Council of Governors has clear relationships with the Members and is establishing:
- mechanisms for meeting with and consulting with NHS Foundation Trust members
- mechanisms for consulting with the members of the public or partner organisations they represent
- a formal mechanism so that Members may receive reports from the Council of Governors and enable them to raise issues for consideration by the Council of Governors e.g. they may meet at a range of accessible locations at varying times of the day
- mechanisms for consulting members of the public & stakeholder partners
Processes will be agreed between the Council of Governors and the Board of Directors to ensure a successful and constructive relationship based on informal and formal communication.