Foundation Trusts are set up in a way that makes them answerable to their local community.
As a Foundation Trust, St George’s Healthcare will remain firmly within the NHS but we will have greater accountability and be more responsive to our patients, the local community and our members of staff. Through a Council of Governors, these groups will have a greater say in how we develop our services and improve the care we provide to our patients.
Foundation Trusts also have greater freedom over how they manage their finances, which will mean more flexibility to decide on how to invest in services that will best meet the needs of its patients and public.
Monitor is the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts. Monitor is independent of central government and directly accountable to parliament.
There are three main strands to their work:
For more information please visit www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk
Yes. It is important to remember:
It is a possibility but has yet to happen:
We will have more independence from government but will remain part of the NHS, adhere to NHS standards and be inspected by national organisations. The trust will be run by a board of directors, as now, but this board will be accountable to the elected council of governors.
We believe that not being successful in becoming a Foundation trust will mean that we will lose the opportunity to make the improvements which are planned as a foundation trust. Government policy is that all trusts should become foundation trusts. It is not clear as yet what will happen to trusts who fail to become Foundation Trusts.
Foundation Trusts are membership organisations. Becoming a member is free and demonstrates that you:
Our members will elect the majority of our Council of Governors who will represent the views of the membership to the Board of Directors.
St George’s currently has a Board of Directors. Once we are a Foundation Trust we will establish a Council of Governors to advise our Board of Directors. The Council of Governors is the body through which the membership maintains dialogue with the Board of Directors. Our members will elect the majority of the Council of Governors.
The Council of Governors will :
Our plans are for people to be able to join as a member and vote from 14 years old and to stand for election to become a governor at 16.
We propose a Council of Governors of 27 people as follows:
Governors are elected representatives and will be held to account mainly through the membership and elections. If they under perform it is unlikely that they will be re-elected after 3 years. Governors will be given training and support in fulfilling their public role.
We currently have more than 6,500 public members and are recruiting more all the time. We are currently on a major recruitment drive with users of the hospital and the local population and will report back on the results of that in the near future. There is no upper limit to the number of public members we can have.
This scandal led to the Francis report which outlines what needs to be done to prevent this happening again. When these recommendations are implemented by government and changes are made to regulations of hospitals and health services, these will apply to all trusts, whether Foundation Trusts or not. At St George’s we will work hard to maintain the highest possible standards of care whether we become a Foundation Trust or not.
These will be handled as normal through our complaints procedure, government regulators and, as now, the Parliamentary Ombudsman for Health.