A Foundation Trust is an organisation that provides care services for local people. As a Foundation Trust we remain a firm part of the NHS and follow the principles and standards of the NHS – for example, as a Foundation Trust we do not charge people for their care, and we must use our resources to provide NHS services.
What is the difference?
The main difference is that Foundation Trusts are run locally with greater freedom from central Government. This allows us to have more say and control over the running and development of the services we provide. Control, ownership and accountability is placed in the local community, service users, carers and staff through the Council of Governors and our membership. Therefore, we are better placed to work with local people and local communities to ensure our services continue to meet the needs of the people of Sheffield. Professor Alan Walker, Chair of SHSC, says: “It now means we will be run locally with greater freedom from central Government. Control, ownership and accountability is placed in the Sheffield community, service users, carers and staff. Therefore, we will be better able to work with local people and local communities to ensure our services continue to meet their needs. Local people will really be given the chance to have their say.”
Foundation Trusts have greater financial freedoms than other NHS organisations and are able to make better and more flexible use of their money. This will help us to plan for ongoing and future investments to support developments and improvements in local services.
Are Foundation Trusts still part of the NHS?
Yes – as a Foundation Trust we are still required to meet the Department of Health’s national standards on service quality and effectiveness. We continue to be inspected by external organisations such as the Care Quality Commission and other national bodies, who assess our progress and performance. However, as a Foundation Trust we are able to focus more on what is important to the people in Sheffield in deciding how we develop our services over time.
What have members and Governors got to do with Foundation Trusts?
Everything, they’re the basis upon which a Foundation Trusts is built because Foundation Trusts are ‘membership organisations’ and it is to our members that we are ultimately accountable. The members – people from the local communities in Sheffield and our staff – elect representatives to become Governors. The Governors work with the Trust’s Board of Directors to agree the future plans of the organisation. They also decide who to appoint as the Chair and Non-Executive Directors of the Trust.
How can I find out more?
The Department of Health’s website has more information on Foundation Trusts.
You can contact us directly to discuss issues that are of interest to you or to find out how you can get involved as a member. You can contact us in the following ways:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Foundation Trust Office
Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
Old Fulwood House
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