22 February 2010
Today the independent regulator, Monitor, announced that Warwick and Stratford hospitals were authorized as a Foundation Truest under the name South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust.
The Trust first applied for Foundation status a year ago and narrowly missed authorization then, due mostly to failing to achieve the A&E four hour target. The trust re-applied for FT status which had been scheduled to be at the end of January. However, in response to the government's financial plan for the NHS, published earlier this year, Monitor postponed all applications so that it could assess the new financial situation. Today the Trust was informed that Monitor had approved the application and that the Trust would be authorized as a Foundation Trust from the first of March.
The trust will be, and will always be an NHS trust. Foundation Trust status is not privatisation. The new status means that the Trust will have greater autonomy from the strictures of the Strategic Health Authority and the Department of Health, and this means that the Trust will be able to tailor its services for the local population. To do this the Trust is governed by a Council of Governors (the majority of the governors are elected) who will represent the Trust members and hold the Trust board of directors to account.
There is a vital part missing here: you. For the Trust to be able to tailor its services for the community it needs the community to say what services it needs and how those services should best be implemented. Your first step to help shape the Trust is to become a member. You can do this through the membership page on the hospital's website. As a member you can commit as much, or as little time as you wish. You may decide that you only want to be informed of the Trust's news, or you may decide that you wish to contribute more and help shape the Trust's future.
In the future the FT governors will arrange events to meet members and to obtain the views of the members about the Trust. Together, members, governors and the Trust can provide the best healthcare in Warwickshire.