Hospital bids for trust status
PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 June 2011
BOSSES at Weston General Hospital say they are targeting a switch to a foundation trust status in a bid to further meet patients' needs, the Mercury can reveal.
Weston Area Health Trust, which manages the hospital, has outlined interest in the conversion, which is the subject of an ongoing Government discussion with NHS bodies.
The status would offer the trust independence from the Department of Health, giving bosses the opportunity to set priorities and attract private funding. It is part of a Government programme to create a ‘patient-led’ NHS - 137 health trusts have already made the switch.
A spokesman for Weston Area Health Trust told the Mercury this week: “Foundation trust status is an aspiration for the trust while we wait to find out more.
“Foundation trusts are organised so that people from local communities, members of staff, patients and partners, can have a much bigger say in influencing the development of health services.
“It offers greater freedom to ensure that hospitals are able to develop services in line with local priorities and the needs and preferences of those who use them.”
The Government policy for the roll-out of such trusts, however, has come under criticism from some workers’ unions.
Unison claims the trusts are poor value for money and can lead to great inequality between trusts.