NHS Foundation Trusts were established under the Health and Social Care (Community Standards) Act 2003 as public benefit organisations. We are run according to our constitution.
NHS Foundation Trusts are a new kind of organisation known as a 'Public Benefit Corporation'. They are still part of the NHS and will still be subject to NHS standards, performance ratings and systems of inspection, operating to NHS principles of free care, based on need and not ability to pay. The difference with a Foundation Trust is that it is run locally, with local people having a say in how they wish their services to be developed.
Foundation Trusts are democratic and designed to operate like mutual organisations for example, building societies or co-operatives. Everybody will still be able to access our services, but members of the public, service users, carers and staff can become members of the organisation. The members then directly elect representatives to serve on the Council of Governors.
The Board of Governors are members of the public who work with the Board of Directors to agree the future plans of the Trust. They are also responsible for the appointment of the Trust Chair and Non-Executive Directors. The Board of Directors will retain responsibility for the day to day running of the Trust.
As an NHS Foundation Trust, we have the freedom to develop new ways of working that reflects local needs and priorities. We will have greater financial freedom that will be combined with higher levels of influence for members meaning that we can develop the Trust quicker, more effectively and be more responsive to local needs.