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FT list grows to 150 with two new additions

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Kent Community Health NHS Trust have both been awarded foundation trust (FT) status by health regulator Monitor. 

There are now 150 NHS FTs in total, almost two-thirds of all trusts in England’s NHS. 

Kent has become the third trust to be given FT status, the other two are Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust in the north west of England and Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust

The trust will now formally be known as the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), and is the second largest community trust in England.  Under the new arrangement, it will now have more freedom to tailor and improve how it cares for patients in their homes and communities, which it hopes could reduce the need for patients to go to hospital for treatment. 

Nottinghamshire Healthcare is the first trust providing high-security psychiatric services to be awarded FT status. It runs Rampton Hospital and also provides healthcare in 13 prisons across the country. Following the authorisation, it has formally changed its name to Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. 

Miranda Carter, Monitor’s executive director of provider appraisal, said: “Having the ability to receive treatment outside of hospital and close to home matters to patients. 

“It’s also important that patients get the chance to put their views across on their local healthcare, and as new foundation trusts Kent Community Health and Nottinghamshire Healthcare will be able to offer this to local patients.” 

KCHFT added that in order to pass, the trust had to demonstrate it was consistently high-performing, well run, financially sound and had robust plans for the future. The seal of approval follows a ‘good’ rating by the Care Quality Commission last year. 

Marion Dinwoodie, chief executive at KCHFT, said: “This is a momentous day for our staff, patients and the communities we serve and a vote of confidence in us as an organisation. 

“I hope our patients will have renewed confidence in knowing the services they need from us right from the advice and help they receive from our health visitors after the birth of a newborn to support from our nurses at the end of life, can be relied on.” 

For Nottinghamshire the status will provide the trust with greater freedom, stronger local ownership, and more involvement for the communities which it serves. The trust already has a Council of Governors, with local people helping to determine the development of the trust. 

Dean Fathers, chair and Ruth Hawkins, chief Executive of the trust, added: “We are absolutely delighted to announce that Nottinghamshire Healthcare has been successful in its assessment, receiving formal notification on 26 February 2015. 

“We have worked hard to achieve this outcome, with intense scrutiny and review but we have used the assessment to strengthen and improve the organisation with FT authorisation recognising the high quality services and care we provide. 

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, added that achieving FT status is recognition of the high quality services provided and the result of a commitment to improve from across the organisations. 

“The FT pipeline continues to flow enabling patients to have a greater say over their health services and benefit from the cornerstones of FT status - good governance, local decision making and clear accountability,” he said. “The latest announcement is testament to the hard work of both trusts and they should feel proud of their accomplishment.” 

As NHS FTs, Kent Community Health and Nottinghamshire Healthcare will be free from central government control and able to decide how to improve services for patients; able to retain any surpluses they generate to invest in new services, and borrow money to support these investments; and will be accountable to their local communities, with local people being able to become FT members and governors. 

(Image: c. Martin Rickett)

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