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
NHS Foundation Trusts – Self Certification
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 introduced the concept of a Licence for providers of NHS services, and the NHS Provider Licence was subsequently introduced in February 2013. Foundation Trusts were licensed from April 2013, with other providers being licensed from April 2014, but it was later confirmed that the Licence would not apply to NHS Trusts.
In April 2017, NHS Improvement (NHSI) confirmed that NHS Trusts must undertake a self-certification against the NHS Provider Licence, on the basis that, despite their exemption, directions from the Secretary of State required NHSI to ensure that NHS Trusts complied with conditions equivalent to the Licence, as it deemed appropriate. As NHSI’s Single Oversight Framework (SOF) bases its oversight on the Licence, NHS Trusts are therefore legally subject to the equivalent of certain Provider Licence conditions, and must self-certify under these licence provisions.
The Trust Board approved the self-certification for 2017 at its meeting on 31/05/2017 as the Trust has taken appropriate steps to establish sound arrangements for risk management in the Trust. The information the Board took into account as part of the self-certification can be accessed via the agenda item 3.1 for the Board meeting on 31/05/2017.