West Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust gave out cakes today (Monday July 1st) to all inpatients (about 900) in celebration of their first day in being.
The trust is only the second acute trust to achieve Foundation Trust (FT) status in 14 months which has become more difficult to achieve in recent times.
In their announcement today the Trust reports there has been a transformation of care standards and financial stability since the Trust was formed in 2009. They report there are hundreds more nurses employed, waiting times for most treatments rival any other Trust in the country, and key indicators of good care such as rates of pressure sores and falls show that staff are keeping patients safe and well looked after.
It is hoped these achievements will help increase the number of high quality staff attracted to the Trust. The most recent recruitment drive for newly-qualified nurses attracted almost 140 applicants, compared to just 50 a year earlier.
No Trust can hope to become an FT today without consistently delivering high quality care, quickly, and financially sustainably. The Trust’s application process has taken three years in total, during which time everything it does has been examined in minute detail.
From 1 July, the new Foundation Trust:
- Will be able to retain financial surpluses, to invest them in local services
- Will have greater freedom from Whitehall control to set clinical priorities in line with the needs of the local population
- Will have a 30-strong Council of Governors (22 elected) whose remit includes holding the Board to account and setting the pay of the Chairman and non-executive directors
Trust Chairman Mike Viggers said: “Today is a great day for our staff because it is a recognition of just how superb they are, and just how hard they work.
“But more importantly it is also a great day for our patients because it begins a new era where we can have more local control over hospital services, and when our 7,600 members will have the chance to make us a more democratic organisation, more in tune with the views of local people.
“Running three busy hospitals, and serving a population of half a million people, demands total dedication from our staff. I know that our teams are committed to doing the best they can, and truly care about their patients – becoming an FT is entirely down to them.”
All FTs have a public membership, and the Trust already has approximately 7,600 members – all of whom are able to vote for the Governors who will represent their views.
To join, contact Rachel Morris by emailing Rachel.Morris@wsht.nhs.uk or call 01903 285140. To find out more visit www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk
West Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust consists of Worthing, Southlands and St Richards, Chichester Hospitals
Pictured: Housekeeper Gill Ridley giving out a Foundation Trust cake to patient Stanley Page, aged 90 of Graffham.