NHS Foundation Trust consultation (Consultation closed) (FT consultation)
We formally consulted on our proposals to become an NHS Foundation Trust between Monday 23rd April and Friday 13th July 2007.
What were we consulting about?
Through the consultation we are shared our views about a number of proposals. These proposals were about:
- Our longer term goals and plans about service developments, improvements and changes
- Our arrangements for involving local people, through Membership groups
- How different groups of Members will be represented on the Council of Governors
- How our partner bodies and organisations will be represented and involved on the Council of Governors
The consultation was an important part of the development of our final plans and proposals. We wanted to know if people feel our plans focus on the right areas. We wanted to know if our proposals to include local people in how we run our services make sense to local people and our different stakeholder groups.
Through the consultation we also wanted to promote the opportunities for people to become members and governors, and encourage people to let us know they are interested in getting involved in this way.
The following principles and values determined our approach to our consultation
- We will be open and honest about our proposals
- We will take an inclusive approach with our key stakeholders
- We will ensure our arrangements are timely
- We will value and respect all contributions and those taking part in the consultation
- We will listen to the views and opinions people share with us
- We will take a reflective approach and improve our plans in light of the views received
- We will communicate the outcomes of consultation and provide feedback
Who did we consult with?
We wanted to have the opportunity to discuss and share our proposals with all sections of our communities and our main stakeholder groups. We held a number of open public meetings for members of the public to join us and listen to our proposals and share their thoughts about them. We also met with a number of community groups and forums directly. The main ways that we arranged to share our plans was through the following ways:
- By holding a number of open public meetings, to which anyone can join us
- Meeting with a range of patient/staff groups
- Meeting with partner organisations
- Meeting with the organisations that commission and fund our services
A total of 100,000 summary consultation documents were be distributed across Norfolk and north Suffolk via the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News on April 23.
NHS Foundation Trust exhibitions were held:
- 26th April 2007 Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library
- 16th May 2007 Cromer and District Hospital
- 15th June 2007 Dereham Library
- 26th June 2007 Bungay Library
- 6th July 2007 Attleborough Library
We were pleased with the overall level of response to the consultation and it has provided us with meaningful feedback concerning our proposals. The consultation has also given us a very good base position to monitor and address the socio-economic and ethnic mix of people interested in becoming members.
The following were the main themes attracting support locally
Very clear support for becoming an NHS Foundation Trust (87%) - Public and Partner organisations
People recognised and welcomed the opportunity to become members and get more directly involved Public/Staff
Greater opportunities for collaborative working in public service delivery Partner organisations (inc voluntary sector)
Number of formal responses received
- Hardcopy - using pro forma provided as part of the consultation exercise 1,013
- Others in hardcopy letters etc 16
- On website 31
- By email 20
- By telephone 2
All the formal written responses were collated in a database that geographically mapped the postcode of each respondent. The geographical distribution of the responses accurately reflected the geography of the population we serve.
A geo-demographic analysis (Mosaic) was the used to further analyse the social profile of the consultation respondents in relation to our population (measured against both Norfolk and UK base data).
In summary, the biggest Mosaic groups were, when combined, A C J & K. This typically recalls a 'county-type' person: fairly settled, relatively affluent, and located outside of major conurbations. Overwhelmingly, these people will be White/British and conservative in outlook.
Our catchment area does have, at 5 per cent, a lower than national average Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) population (UK average = 8 per cent) but our roadshows, held in county libraries on market days, did give us good access to immigrants who are relatively recent arrivals to the region. They tended to be young/working age, and are regular users of county library services (free Internet access).
The consultation has highlighted the need for us to develop links with these emerging communities and we have made links with the newly-formed Norwich Portuguese Association and joined the Norfolk Community Cohesion Network in order to work with partner agencies in forging greater engagement with immigrant populations.
|Sample: 1001||In favour||Neutral||Opposed|
|Do you support becoming an NHS Foundation Trust?||87% (875)||4% (37)||9% (92)|
|Do you think our future plans will improve local healthcare?||91% (913)||4% (41)||5% (51)|
|Do you agree with composition of Council of Governors?||77% (778)||10% (97)||13% (129)|
|Do you agree with proposed boundaries and constituencies?||55% (557)||5% (51)||40% (397)|
Of the nine per cent of respondents who stated they were not in favour of the trust becoming an NHS Foundation Trust, responses were generally made on the basis of philosophical objection to the concept (often based on a concern that it was a route to privatisation). Not withstanding that, some 10 per cent of the respondents who opposed becoming an NHS Foundation Trust did request to become members.
- Lower age limits for membership/governorship - There was concern about the lower age limits but the views expressed tended to suggest people did not appreciate that younger people are also patients
The Trust believes it is important that children have a stake in the Foundation Trust but wants to simplify arrangements for younger people.
We propose that for the age group 12-15 there will be associate membership via a Youth Council.
Then from age 16 (this is the age at which patients generally leave paediatric care and are treated within adult services in the trust) they will be eligible for full membership/governorship rights.
- Size of Council of Governors - We have reduced the size of the Council of Governors to 25 in response to concerns about a 31-strong council being unwieldy.
We had proposed four partner governors for GP localities, however, discussion with GPs indicated that they would prefer a close working relationship with the Trust that was not on the basis of partner Governorship and they have been removed as a result.
- Rest of England constituency - A number of respondents voiced concerns about an out-of-area constituency. The rationale for this constituency was to represent the five per cent of patients who come from outside Norfolk and Waveney.
However, in light of a view that the Council of Governors should be smaller (see above) we propose to remove that constituency
We will, however, want to keep a Rest of England constituency under review in the event that more patients come to us from other areas.
- Prisoners - A question was raised by a clinician in our Respiratory Medicine department regarding eligibility of prisoner who use our services.
This was considered and prisoners in local prison can become members but will not be eligible to become governors. This is an approach consistent with that taken by a number of mental health NHS foundation trusts.