We are delighted to announce that St George’s was authorised by Monitor to become a Foundation Trust on 2 February 2015.
Becoming a Foundation Trust is a crucial step in achieving our vision to be recognised as an excellent integrated acute and community care provider and a comprehensive specialist health provider for south west London, Surrey and beyond with thriving programmes of education and research.
It means greater involvement for staff, patients and members of the local community in how our healthcare is provided which will bring lasting improvements to our services and better health for communities.
Why have we become a Foundation Trust?
Foundation Trust status demonstrates that our healthcare meets the highest standards of quality and that the trust is a well-governed organisation.
It gives us greater financial freedom to develop and improve facilities and services that our patients, staff and local community tell us they need.
We know from other NHS trusts who have made the transition to Foundation Trust status that the greater freedom to plan and develop our services based on what our patients need and to manage our own finances will allow us to build on our successes and make further significant improvements. This will ensure that:
- We see patients quickly and efficiently
- We can provide services that are as safe as possible
- Patients have a good experience of our healthcare
- We make best use of research and education to enhance our understanding of healthcare and develop a workforce which is highly skilled
- We develop our facilities and equipment to provide an environment which is fit for purpose and gives patients confidence
Foundation Trusts are firmly part of the NHS and subject to NHS standards, performance ratings and systems of inspection. They are still part of the NHS so therefore are free at the point of use.
However, Foundation Trusts are different from existing NHS trusts in the following ways:
- Foundation Trusts are independent legal entities – public benefit corporations
- Foundation Trusts have different governance arrangements to NHS trusts as they are accountable to local people, who can become members and governors
- Foundation Trusts are set free from central government control and are not performance managed by health authorities in the same way that NHS trusts are. As self-standing, self-governing organisations, Foundation Trusts are free to determine their own future
- Foundation Trusts are not run for profit but do have more financial freedom to raise capital funds from both the public and private sectors. They can also retain financial surpluses to invest in the delivery of new NHS services, whereas NHS trusts have to return their surpluses to the Treasury.
- Foundation Trusts are regulated by Monitor, rather than the Department of Health